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Leinster ‘A’ Surge To Victory In Second Half

Leinster ‘A’ Surge To Victory In Second Half

Leinster ‘A’ ran out comfortable 31-10 winners over Ulster Ravens in the spring sunshine at Deramore Park on Monday with a strong second half performance as they scored 21 unanswered points.


ULSTER RAVENS 10 LEINSTER ‘A’ 31, Deramore Park

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Scorers: Ulster Ravens: Try: Michael Allen; Con: James McKinney; Pen: James McKinney
Leinster ‘A’: Tries: Tom Daly, Sam Coghlan Murray, Edward Byrne, Leo Auva’a; Con: Cathal Marsh; Pens: Cathal Marsh 2, Sam Windsor

Warming up for their British & Irish Cup quarter-final against Munster ‘A’ on Friday, April 4, Leinster ‘A’ played the slicker rugby in Belfast and outscored the hosts by four tries to one.

Ulster Ravens broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with a try from centre Michael Allen. He went over from close range after a sustained period of pressure in the Leinster 22 and out-half James McKinney converted.

Leinster ‘A’ hit back sevens minutes later with a try from Tom Daly, who started in the centre alongside Thomas Farrell.

Full-back Darren Hudson cut through the defensive line, breaking a couple of tackles before offloading for Daly to run in from five metres. Cathal Marsh added the conversion to tie things up at 7-all.

Leinster ‘A’ winger Sam Coghlan Murray then had a try disallowed for crossing as Girvan Dempsey’s charges looked to pull ahead.

The visitors had young lock Gavin Thornbury yellow carded on 32 minutes and the Ravens regained the lead when McKinney slotted over the resulting penalty.

Leinster ‘A’ nearly added a second try when number 10 Marsh put a grubber kick behind the defence but Hudson knocked on as he tried to gather with the try-line in his sights.

Marsh made it 10 points apiece with the last kick of the first half, converting a penalty after the Ravens were caught offside in front of their posts.

Leinster ‘A’ began the second half in fine fettle, going ahead for the first time just two minutes after the restart.

Flanker Josh van der Flier broke from a scrum and put Coghlan Murray clear and the winger went over unopposed, but Marsh was wide with the conversion.

Marsh extended the lead with a 45th minute penalty but was wide of the target after the dominant Leinster ‘A’ scrum earned another opportunity.

Replacement Sam Windsor, who plays club rugby with Dublin University, kicked a penalty for Dempsey’s side before they added two tries in the final six minutes.

The Ravens had hooker Kyle McCall sin-binned for hands in the ruck and Leinster ‘A’ took full advantage to add some gloss to the final scoreline.

Replacement prop Edward Byrne finished of a slick handling move for the province’s third try after 74 minutes.

Bryan Byrne crashed through the home defence creating an overlap on the left wing, and Leo Auva’a and Quinn Roux moved the ball through the hands for Edward Byrne to finish in the corner but Windsor could not convert from a tight angle.

Peter Nelson saved a try for the Ravens when he carried Farrell’s grubber kick over his own try-line, however Leinster ‘A’ scored their final try from the resulting five-metre scrum.

The powerful Auva’a picked up at the base and crashed through two tackles to touch down and seal a runaway win.

ULSTER RAVENS: David McIlwaine; Adam Liddell, Ricky Andrew, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson; James McKinney, Paul Marshall; Andrew Warwick, Kyle McCall, Adam Macklin, Alan O’Connor, Neil McComb, Conor Joyce, Mike McComish, (capt), Lorcan Dow.

Replacements used: Marc Campbell for O’Connor (half-time), Paul Jackson for Warwick (47 mins), David Shanahan for Marshall (50), Josh Atkinson for Dow (60), Daniel Dass for Joyce (70), Ritchie McMaster for McKinney (71), Angelo Marica for Macklin (78).

LEINSTER ‘A’: Darren Hudson; Andrew Boyle, Thomas Farrell, Tom Daly, Sam Coghlan Murray; Cathal Marsh, John Cooney; Jack O’Connell, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong (capt), Quinn Roux, Gavin Thornbury, Ben Marshall, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements used: Luke McGrath for Cooney (22 mins), Bryan Byrne for Tracy (half-time), Leo Auva’a for Marshall (50), Sam Windsor for Marsh (55), Edward Byrne for O’Connell (65), Craig Trenier for Thornbury (67), Billy Dardis for Boyle (75).