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Leinster Colleges Reign Supreme In Interpros

Leinster Colleges Reign Supreme In Interpros

The Leinster Colleges team edged out their Munster rivals in the final of the Irish Colleges Interrprovincial Series in Waterford this week, surviving a late comeback to win by 36-33.

The newly opened Waterford Institute of Technology Sports Complex at Carriganore in Waterford was the venue for this year’s Irish Colleges Interprovincial Series final.

Leinster, who were in pursuit of their fifth Interpro title, started the game in rippling form. They make repeated assaults on the Munster try-line before notching up their first score with a try by Martin O’Neill in the 15th minute.

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It took Munster 20 minutes to come into the game, only to concede another try when Leinster’s Rob Duke crossed in the 27th minute. They leaked another five minutes later through O’Neill again, with Callum Southgate adding the conversion.

Munster hit back with two quick-fire tries before half-time. Sean Hurley (35 minutes) and Michael Dean (37) both touched down, with Brian Mullins popping over one of the conversions to cut Leinster’s lead to 19-12.

In the second half, Leinster burst out of the blocks again. They built up a sizeable gap by scoring tries in the 43rd minute from Dean Landy, the 47th minute from Ben Woods and the 55th minute from David Hegarty.

A single conversion from Southgate left Munster 36-12 adrift with 55 minutes on the clock.

The decisive period for Munster Colleges was in the 62nd minute when they abandoned caution and played some superb attacking rugby with Kevin Hodnet going over for a much-needed seven-pointer.

Munster crossed the whitewash again in the 64th and 79th minutes, with Sean Hogan nabbing both tries. Mullins landed the two conversions to close the gap to 36-33, but Leinster held on for a thrilling win.

MUNSTER COLLEGES: Steven Harvey (IT Carlow); Michael Dean (LIT), Mick O’Shea (LIT/Garryowen FC), Simon Nelson (Waterford IT/Wicklow RFC), Jason Thong (IT Tralee/Tralee RFC); Brian Mullins (IT Tralee/Garryowen RFC), Ronan Barry (Cork IT/UCC RFC); AN Other, Sean Hurley (IT Tralee/Tralee RFC), Colm Walsh (Cork IT/Waterpark RFC), Stephen Melbourne (Limerick IT/Thomond RFC), Sean Hogan (WIT/Old Crescent RFC), Kevin Hodnet (Limerick IT/Old Crescent), Anthoney Grey (LIT/Nenagh) ,John McCarthy (Cork IT/UCC).

Replacements: Niall Gorry (Limerick IT/Nass RFC), Eoghan Anderson (IT Tralee/Clonmel RFC), Lorcan Smith (Waterford IT/Waterpark RFC), Stephen Duffy (Waterford IT/Wicklow RFC), Graham Claxton (Waterford IT/Waterpark RFC), Paul Molloy (Waterford IT/Waterpark RFC), Mike O’Shea (Limerick IT/Garryowen RFC), Brian Collins (Limerick IT/St. Sennan’s RFC).

LEINSTER COLLEGES: Robbie Waters (IT Carlow/Newbridge RFC); Ben Woods (DCU/Old Belvedere RFC), Matt Sanderson (IT Carlow), Martin O’Neill (IT Carlow/Waterpark RFC), Niall Nolan (IT Carlow/Clondakin RFC); Bryan Croke (IT Carlow/Clondakin RFC), Sam Sutton (IT Carlow/Naas RFC); David Hegarty (IT Carlow/Clontarf RFC), Chris Tonge (NCI/Skerries RFC), Grant Wattleworth (IT Carlow),John Southern (IT Carlow/Newbridge RFC), Dean Landy (IT Carlow/Clonakilty RFC), Wesley Wojnar (IT Carlow), Rob Duke (IT Carlow/Terenure College RFC), Dylan Fawsitt (IT Tallaght/Greystones RFC).

Replacements: Dan O’Byrne (IT Carlow), Dean Lynch (IT Carlow), AN Other, Donagh O’Shea (IT Carlow), Des Kenny (IT Carlow), Colin Sheridan (IT Carlow/St. Mary’s College RFC), Callum Southgate (IT Carlow), Peter Toal (IT Carlow).

Referee: Kevin Beggs (IRFU)