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Leinster ‘A’ Score Interpro Success Over Connacht ‘A’

Leinster ‘A’ Score Interpro Success Over Connacht ‘A’

Wednesday’s ‘A’ Interprovincial match at Donnybrook went the way of the hosts as four first half tries set Leinster on their way to a 31-3 victory over Connacht ‘A’.

‘A’ INTERPROVINCIAL MATCH: Wednesday, November 4

LEINSTER ‘A’ 31 CONNACHT ‘A’ 3, Donnybrook

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Scorers: Leinster ‘A’: Tries: Michael Keating, Niall Morris, David Kearney, Jack McGrath, Ben Barclay; Conversions: David McAllister 3 conversions
Connacht ‘A’: Pen: Adam Kennedy

Connacht ‘A’, coached by Nigel Carolan, began brightly and took the lead in the third minute thanks to a penalty from scrum half Adam Kennedy, who has been playing well for Buccaneers in this season’s AIB League.

From the subsequent restart, Leinster ‘A’ flanker Jordi Murphy was yellow carded and the Connacht side enjoyed a spell of pressure, but some superb work from the Leinster pack laid the platform for a fast sweeping move and Michael Keating snuck in the corner to give the hosts the advantage after 13 minutes.

David McAllister’s conversion attempt fell wide of the upright and the score remained 5-3, but some excellent play from winger Kearney, who burst through the Connacht midfield four minutes later, doubled Leinster’s lead.

The former Ireland Under-20 international found the onrushing Niall Morris who cruised in for the easiest of tries under the posts at the Bective end. McAllister added the points.

The game ebbed and flowed and Keating exploited a number of gaps with some powerful breaks, while Leinster ‘A’ second row duo Ciaran Ruddock and Trevor Hogan impressed in the loose.

Then in the 35th minute, a telling break by Leinster ‘A’ captain Paul O’Donohoe found centre Kyle Tonetti up in support.

He offloaded to his Blackrock College team-mates Morris who set up Kearney with an acute inside pass to touch down – and out-half McAllister added the conversion – to give Leinster a commanding 19-3 lead.

But Leinster were not finished and prop Jack McGrath scored from close range in injury-time after some good close-in work from Jason Harris-Wright and then Hogan to give Leinster a 26-3 half-time lead as McAllister added his third successful kick of the evening.

With conditions declining, Connacht ‘A’ out-half Conor Murphy kicked off the second half and their pack fought hard.

Driving wind and rain made handling difficult though McAllister almost scored his side’s fifth try on the hour mark but he was denied by the Connacht rearguard.

With Leinster dominating for large spells, scrum half O’Donohoe was proving a real threat for the home side and the Clontarf clubman was the source of their most promising second half incursions.

Leinster had to largely make do with the profits from their first half plunder, though a late pushover try from replacement Ben Barclay added some gloss.

LEINSTER ‘A’: Niall Morris; Michael Keating, Darren Hudson, Kyle Tonetti, David Kearney; David McAllister, Paul O’Donohoe (capt); Ronan McCormack, Jason Harris-Wright, Jack McGrath, Trevor Hogan, Ciaran Ruddock, Eoin Sheriff, Jordi Murphy, Paul Ryan.

Replacements used: David Moore for McAllister, Ben Barclay for McGrath, Mark Flanagan for Ruddock (all 63 mins), Robin O’Sullivan for Murphy, Tom Sexton for Harris-Wright (both 67), David Lynch for Hudson (73), Andrew Boyle for Sheriff (74).

CONNACHT ‘A’: Darin Claasen; Thomas Tamani, Aifai Aesera, Finn Gormley, John Cleary; Conor Murphy, Adam Kennedy; James Robinson, Marcus Madden, Conor Higgins, Liam Scahill, Joe Moran, Eoin McKeon, Shane Conneely (capt), Trevor Conneely.

Replacements used: Jamie Stephens for Higgins (49 mins), Mark Butler for Murphy, Mark Dolan for Kennedy (both 54), Ross Fitzgerald for Madden (61), Dave Clarke for Gormley (65), Colin Conroy for Cleary (67). 

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)