Three of Leinster’s props touched down during an entertaining 24-17 victory over Connacht in the second round of the PwC IRFU Under-18 Men’s Club Interprovincial Championship.
PWC IRFU UNDER-18 MEN’S CLUBS INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 2: Sunday, August 29
LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS 24 CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS 17, Energia Park, Donnybrook
Scorers: Leinster U-18 Clubs: Tries: Adam Deay, Oisin Lynch, David Donohue, Keith Farrell; Cons: Tom Larke 2
Connacht U-18 Clubs: Tries: Sean Fox, Conor Ryan, Sean Hopkins; Con: Charlie Naughton
HT: Leinster U-18 Clubs 17 Connacht U-18 Clubs 5
Adam Deay’s first-minute score set Leinster on their way at Energia Park, the hosts adding two more tries to lead 17-5 at half-time.
Connacht had the better of the second half scoring-wise, but replacement Sean Hopkins’ late try was only enough to secure a losing bonus point.
Today’s bonus point success takes Joe Carbery’s Leinster side level with Ulster, on nine points, at the top of the table. They meet in a title decider at Newforge next Saturday.
Connacht, who had lost 34-24 to Ulster last week, suffered an early setback when Leinster won back the kick-off and a flurry of phases ended with Deay driving over for Tom Larke to convert.
Despite losing Deay to a leg injury, his team-mates pressed on and used a scrum penalty and an attacking lineout to put the westerners under further pressure.
Leinster number 8 Grant Palmer was able to break down the short side before a pick-and-drive played in loosehead Oisin Lynch for try number two. The left hand post denied Larke from the tee.
Fox provided the inspiration for Connacht in response, the Galway Corinthians centre cutting through midfield from halfway and swerving outside the final defender for a superb 17th-minute try.
However, Leinster quickly hit back on the 20-minute mark to make it 17-5. Charlie Sheridan sped into space on the left, drawing in defenders and putting full-back David Donohue through to reach out for the line.
Connacht tried hard to cancel out that score, with the pacy Cody Farrell threatening on the counter and prop John Hughes also going for an outside break.
Larke dangled a kick through as Leinster hunted down their bonus point score, yet Westport’s Cormac Lyons covered it well to deny the inrushing Aidan Henry.
Into the second period, Connacht continued to try to reel the hosts in. Fox missed out on a second try due to a forward pass and he also went close from a barrelling run.
Just when it looked like they would go unrewarded, lock Conor Ryan had just enough momentum to make the line in the 42nd minute.
Again though, Leinster were able to conjure up a swift reply. Some nice interplay between Larke and Donohue sparked a slick run of passes, and Niklas Moelders was the link man for Farrell’s run-in at the left corner.
Old Wesley out-half Larke coolly converted from out wide, putting 14 points between the side with 48 minutes on the clock.
A tumbling kick from Farrell put Connacht inside the 22. Alistair Hill punched it up and fellow replacement Hopkins crashed over for Charlie Naughton’s conversion to make it a seven-point game.
However, Naas’ Charlie Sheridan managed to snare Cathal Kelly in the back-field and Leinster finished the game with front-foot defence to seal their second success of the tournament.
LEINSTER U-18 CLUBS: David Donohue (Lansdowne FC); Aidan Henry (Athy RFC), Charlie Sheridan (Naas RFC), Senan Phelan (St. Mary’s College RFC), Jack Sheridan (Naas RFC); Tom Larke (Old Wesley RFC), Andrew Doyle (Athy RFC); Oisin Lynch (Boyne RFC), Niall O’Hanlon (Athy RFC), Adam Deay (Tullow RFC), James O’Loughlin (Naas RFC) (capt), Eoin Clarke (Cill Dara RFC), Niklas Moelders (Wicklow RFC), Donagh McCarrick (Coolmine RFC), Grant Palmer (Wexford Wanderers RFC).
Replacements: Liam Nicholson (Wicklow RFC), Jamie Rafferty (Dundalk RFC), Keith Farrell (MU Barnhall RFC), Sean Whelan (New Ross RFC), Anrai Poole (Suttonians RFC), Jack Nolan (Lansdowne FC), Ethan Travers (Naas RFC), Tom Hodgkinson (Wicklow RFC).
CONNACHT U-18 CLUBS: Cody Farrell (Galwegians RFC/St. Paul’s Oughterard); Cathal Kelly (Ballina RFC/St. Muiredeach’s College), Sean Fox (Galway Corinthians RFC/Calasanctius College), Charlie Naughton (Ballinsaloe CC/ CC Roscrea), Cormac Lyons (Westport RFC/Sancta Maria College); DJ Hession ((Creggs RFC/CBS Roscommon), Ben Matheson (Ballina RFC/St. Muiredeach’s College); Lee Kilcoyne (Creggs RFC/Roscommon CBS), Ronan Lydon (Galwegians RFC/CC Roscrea), John Hughes (Corrib RFC/Yeats College), Rory Glynn (Galway Corinthians RFC/CC Roscrea), Blayze Molloy (Ballina RFC/St. Muiredeach’s College), Robbie Byrne (Buccaneers RFC/The King’s Hospital), Max Flynn (Galway Corinthians RFC/CC Roscrea) (capt).
Replacements: Charlie Leonard (Galway Corinthians RFC/Colaiste Iognaid), Sean Hopkins (Ballina RFC/St. Muiredeach’s College), Charlie Byrne (Buccaneers RFC/Marist College), Alistair Hill (Sligo RFC/Sligo Grammar School), Eoin Kelly (Creggs RFC/CBS Roscommon), Joey Tierney (Ballinasloe RFC/Garbally College), Ryan Roache (Galwegians RFC/St. Paul’s Oughterard), Eoghan Flannery (Galway Corinthians RFC/Colaiste na Coiribe).