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IRFU Junior Interpros: Round 2 Review

IRFU Junior Interpros: Round 2 Review

Ulster are in pole position to lift the IRFU Junior Interprovincial Championship trophy next weekend after maintain their winning form with a bonus point win away to Connacht. Meanwhile, Munster got back to winning ways at home to Leinster.



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Scorers: Connacht: Try: Alan Tierney
Ulster: Tries: Brian Hughes 2, Andy McKeen, Bokkie Carstens 2; Cons: Mikey Poskitt 3; Pen: Mikey Poskitt

HT: Connacht 0 Ulster 24

The Ulster Juniors produced a scintillating first half of rugby at Ballina RFC on Saturday to defeat Connacht 34-5 in their second Junior International match of the campaign.

Playing against a stiff breeze, Richard Boyd’s side had a 24-point lead to show for their dominant opening 40 minutes. Two tries by Coleraine back rower Brian Hughes and a conversion by Mikey Poskitt gave Ulster a 12-0 lead after just 10 minutes.

This was quickly followed by a try from Carrickfergus’ Andy McKeen, with Poskitt from Coleraine again adding the extras. Powerful driving by the visitors’ pack and some skillful interplay by the backs was proving too much for Connacht as the Ulstermen won the collisions and took all their opportunities.

Ulster continued to make light of the breeze and were awarded a further try through Coleraine out-half Bokkie Carstens who, along with his half-back partner Ryan Garrett of Larne, were controlling the game effectively.

Ulster, who were impressive round 1 winners over defending champions Munster, lost full-back Philip Cartmill just before the break but they already had the try-scoring bonus point in the bag with their own line intact.

The second period was a closer contest as Connacht rung the changes, but Ulster kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty from centre Poskitt.

With 65 minutes on the clock, a second try for South African play-maker Carstens and the simple conversion by Poskitt extended the lead further. Connacht did get a late consolation try – scored by Tuam replacement Alan Tierney – but it was of little consolation as the Ulstermen cruised to victory.

MUNSTER 30 LEINSTER 15, Newcastle West RFC
Scorers: Munster: Tries: Kevin Kinnane 2, Brian McLoughlin; Cons: John Lillis 2, Sean Herlihy; Pens: John Lillis 2, Sean Herlihy
Leinster: Tries: Liam Caddy, Mark Whelan; Con: Gavin Kennedy; Pen: Gavin Kennedy

HT: Munster 17 Leinster 0

The Munster Juniors turned in an excellent performance to keep alive their hopes of winning the Junior Interprovincial title with a deserving 30-15 victory over Leinster at Newcastle West RFC.

The introduction of Kilfeacle & District pair Kevin Kinnane and Brian McLoughlin, who both started in the back row, paid dividends as they were Munster’s try scorers. Kinnane’s first half brace, with Thurles out-half John Lillis converting both and adding a penalty, had the hosts 17-0 to the good at the interval.

Lillis extended Munster’s lead with his second successful penalty, but resurgent Leinster hit back with tries from Kilkenny full-back Liam Caddy – his second of the tournament – and Gorey lock Mark Whelan. Ashbourne’s Gavin Kennedy, who captained the side from scrum half, converted one and added a penalty to leave the scoreline 20-15.

The introduction of home favourite Sean Herlihy from Newcastle West proved crucial as he settled Munster’s nerves with a well-struck penalty with eight minutes remaining. Then, in the final play of the game, a fantastic 50-metre run by McLoughlin saw him touch down in the corner and Herlihy expertly converted.

ROUND 3 FIXTURES: Saturday, May 13

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

CONNACHT (4th) v MUNSTER (2nd), Dunmore RFC

LEINSTER (3rd) v ULSTER (1st), Longford RFC

IRFU Junior Interprovincial Results/Fixtures/Table