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Munster ‘A’ Topple Hosts At Donnybrook

Munster ‘A’ Topple Hosts At Donnybrook

The Munster ‘A’ team outscored their Leinster counterparts by three tries to one when posting a 19-7 win at Donnybrook on Sunday afternoon.

‘A’ INTERPROVINCIAL MATCH: Sunday, September 12

LEINSTER ‘A’ 7 MUNSTER ‘A’ 19, Donnybrook

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Scorers: Leinster ‘A’: Try: Michael Keating; Con: Noel Reid
Munster ‘A’: Tries: Sean Scanlon, Troy Smith, Scott Deasy; Con: Scott Deasy 2

After a stop-start beginning from both sides, it was Leinster ‘A’ who had the first real scoring opportunity, but Ian McKinley’s 11th-minute penalty effort shaved the outside of the upright.

The home side upped the ante and despite the efforts of Michael Keating and Paul O’Donohoe on separate occasions, it was Munster ‘A’ full-back Sean Scanlon who scored the game’s opening points when he finished a well-worked move on 18 minutes. Deft hands from centre Ivan Dineen created the opportunity.

Out-half Scott Deasy’s conversion attempt fell wide of the posts, but the visitors took a 5-0 lead into the second quarter of the game.

Centre Troy Smith doubled the Munstermen’s advantage seven minutes later when he crashed over from close in and the conversion from Deasy, who was involved in the build-up to the try, made it 12-0.

Leinster ‘A’ sprung into action and in the 32nd minute, winger Keating took an expertly-weighted inside pass from centre Brendan Macken to touch down at the Bective end of the ground.

Replacement out-half Noel Reid added the extras to reduce the deficit to five points, a lead which Munster ‘A’ took into half-time.

At 12-7 the game was in the balance but, in the 52nd minute, Deasy broke away over the halfway line and raced clear for an intercept try. He converted from in front of the posts to make it 19-7.

A series of replacements gave Leinster ‘A’ some fresh impetus and scrum half John Cooney and Macken linked well as the hosts sought to reduce the arrears.

Macken punched an impressive hole through the Munster ‘A’ defence with a searing break, but he was closed down soone after. Leinster ‘A’ also had impressive cameos from the likes of Rhys Ruddock and the industrious Cooney.

But in the closing quarter, the ‘A’ Munster side asserted their territorial dominance and sealed a 19-7 victory.

Speaking after the game, Leinster ‘A’ coach Colin McEntee said: “It was a good competitive game and a typical early game in the season with a lot of guys getting their first run-out.

“I think that we learned a lot from today and that’s one of the main purposes of this (fixture). It’s about how we react from this in terms of the small mistakes (that we made).

“There were a few changes, even though you prepare for such things, but with Ian McKinley being sick, you end up reshuffling everyone and you lose your shape a little bit.

“We ended up having three guys in different positions. But there were some good cameos, John (Cooney) looked sharp at the breakdown and Rhys (Ruddock) needed that game and it was good to a get a trot out and get 40 minutes under his belt.

“We’ve just got to kick on from here. We face Newport away next in the British & Irish Cup and that will be another tough test.”

Giving his reaction, Munster ‘A’ coach Anthony Foley admitted: “I thought our purpose in the way we played was exemplary. I just couldn’t get over the level of physicality the boys brought to the game.

“I think our physical exertion – how the boys put themselves about, how they tackled. When they went to attack how they carried the ball. It was all very impressive and I think sets out our stall from the start.

“We’re just so delighted with the way we started. Obviously there’s a bit of purpose about this team

“In terms of disappointment with the way we finished up last season losing the British & Irish Cup final, we want to get back there so this is a really good start. Delighted.”

LEINSTER ‘A’: David Kearney; Andrew Conway, Brendan Macken, Eamonn Sheridan, Michael Keating; Ian McKinley, Paul O’Donohoe; Jack McGrath, Jason Harris-Wright, Ben Prescott, Mariano Galarza, Trevor Hogan, Stephen Keogh (capt), Paul Ryan, Ben Marshall.

Replacements used: Noel Reid for McKinley (22 mins), Rhys Ruddock for Keogh (half-time), Darren Hudson for Keating (51), John Cooney for Sheridan (53), Eoin Sheriff for Hogan, Stewart Maguire for Prescott, Ronan McCormack for McGrath (all 55), Tom Sexton for Marshall (63).

MUNSTER ‘A’: Sean Scanlon; Denis Hurley, Ivan Dineen, Troy Smith, Simon Zebo; Scott Deasy, Duncan Williams; Darragh Hurley, Sean Henry, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley (capt), Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, Tommy O’Donnell, James Coughlan.

Replacements used: Paddy Butler for O’Donnell (half-time), Conor Murray for Williams (57 mins), Alan Cotter for Archer, Dave Kilcoyne for Hurley (both 65), Eric Moloney for Smith, Dave O’Callaghan for Holland (both 72). Ger Burke for Henry, Ronan O’Mahoney for Zebo (both 74).

Referee: Alan Lewis (IRFU)