Jump to main content



Leinster Bounce Back With Nine-Try Triumph Over Ulster

Leinster Bounce Back With Nine-Try Triumph Over Ulster

Aoife Wafer is congratulated by her team-mates after scoring Leinster's ninth and final try against Ulster at Energia Park ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Leinster rebounded from last week’s losing start to the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship with a resounding 57-5 bonus point victory over Ulster at Energia Park.


Saturday, August 19 –

LEINSTER 57 ULSTER 5, Energia Park
Scorers: Leinster: Tries: Christy Haney 2, Ruth Campbell, Aimee Clarke, Molly Boyne, Katie Whelan, Leah Tarpey, Eimear Corri, Aoife Wafer; Cons: Hannah O’Connor 5, Dannah O’Brien
Ulster: Try: Niamh Marley
HT: Leinster 33 Ulster 0

Ireland backs Natasja Behan and Leah Tarpey were both prominent on their Leinster senior debuts, helping Tania Rosser’s charges to surge 33 points clear by half-time.

Christy Haney (2), Ruth Campbell, Aimee Clarke and Molly Boyne all touched down amid some impressively-built attacking phases. Captain Hannah O’Connor was on conversion duty, kicking five in all.

Two of the tries came after Ulster captain Beth Cregan’s sin-binning on the half hour mark, and the visitors also missed the physical presence of injured forwards Sadhbh McGrath and Fiona Tuite.

The third quarter was more evenly matched with Vodafone player-of-the-match Katie Whelan and Niamh Marley, Ulster’s right winger, trading well-taken scores.

A spate of yellow cards – three in a seven-minute spell – saw Leinster lose Aoife Dalton, Campbell and Haney to the sin bin, but they still had more in the tank and topped up their try haul to nine.

Ahead of next Saturday‘s crunch clash with Munster in Donnybrook, young centre Tarpey turned Ailsa Hughes’ brilliant blindside break into a try, and Eimear Corri and Aoife Wafer snapped up two late efforts.

Two swift penalties had the Leinster pack hunting down an early try, and it arrived five minutes in when prop Haney, a co-captain last season, powered in under the posts for O’Connor to convert.

The hosts’ momentum was briefly halted by Clare Gorman’s injury-enforced departure, and a territory-starved Ulster drew some much-needed encouragement from India Daley’s turnover penalty.

O’Connor sent a kickable penalty wide for the Blues whose scrum and maul were becoming dominant. They almost created a carbon copy of their opening try before Campbell made it 14-0, getting in between Ella Durkan and Maebh Clenaghan to score on her home debut.

Leinster’s improved execution was there for all to see when Clarke crashed over in the 22nd minute, the initial damage caused by a terrific burst by full-back Behan. A couple of skip passes from scrum half Whelan and O’Connor set up Lisa Callan to provide the assist.

The ever-industrious Cregan led Ulster’s resistance, but paid the price for too many penalties at the breakdown with a costly yellow card. Clarke threatened out wide before a scrambling Haney bagged the bonus point despite the best efforts of Sarah Roberts.

Rosser’s side finished the opening 40 minutes with seven more points, flanker Boyne the beneficiary of Aoife Moore’s offload out of contact and she was able to reach out for the line, having broken through Taryn Schutzler’s tackle.

Linda Djougang was then sprung from the home bench, marking her first Interpro appearance since 2019 with some power-packed carries. Wexford youngster Whelan followed up on one to scamper clear from a ruck just inside halfway and score inside 80 seconds of the restart.

Following O’Connor’s fifth conversion for a 40-0 lead, Kelly McCormill and Durkan lifted Ulster with some smart running in both halves. Maeve Liston also sliced open the home defence on a great line.

The pressure told in the 51st minute, McCormill and Liston combining to very good effect again before out-half Abby Moyles’ cross-field kick picked out Marley for a fine finish despite Emma Tilly’s cover tackle.

Leinster centre Dalton saw yellow for a no-arms tackle straight from the restart, and last season’s runners-up were down to 13 players in the 56th minute when Campbell was not back 10 metres as Rachael McIlroy tapped a penalty.

Replacement scrum half McIlroy was making a difference as Ulster continued to up the pace. A Moyles kick just had too much on it as she sought out the fresh-legged Megan Edwards near the left corner.

However, Leinster floored the northern outfit with a terrific try straight from their own 22. The ever-alert Hughes slipped away down the right wing, reaching Ulster’s 10-metre line before linking with Tarpey who evaded Marley’s tackle to finish with aplomb.

The newly-introduced Dannah O’Brien added the extras for a 47-5 scoreline and even though Haney was binned for being slow to roll away, Leinster hit back by winning a scrum penalty with just six forwards packing down.

Knock-ons prevented Ulster from making much progress late on, and Elise O’Byrne-White’s quickly-taken lineout – following a peach of a 50:22 kick from O’Connor – saw inrushing lock Corri crash over with only Edwards reacting in defence.

There was still time for Wafer to get on the scoresheet just past the 80-minute mark. From a scrum inside the Ulster 22, the athletic 20-year-old openside moved to first receiver and charged over from 15 metres out, beating three defenders in the process.

TIME LINE: 5 minutes – Leinster try: Christy Haney – 5-0; conversion: Hannah O’Connor – 7-0; 14 mins – Leinster penalty: missed by Hannah O’Connor – 7-0; 16 mins – Leinster try: Ruth Campbell – 12-0; conversion: Hannah O’Connor – 14-0; 22 mins – Leinster try: Aimee Clarke – 19-0; conversion: missed by Hannah O’Connor – 19-0; 29 mins – Ulster yellow card: Beth Cregan; 31 mins – Leinster try: Christy Haney – 24-0; conversion: Hannah O’Connor – 26-0; 39 mins – Leinster try: Molly Boyne – 31-0; conversion: Hannah O’Connor – 33-0; Half-time – Leinster 33 Ulster 0; 42 mins – Leinster try: Katie Whelan – 38-0; conversion: Hannah O’Connor – 40-0; 51 mins – Ulster try: Niamh Marley – 40-5; conversion: missed by Ella Durkan – 40-5; 54 mins – Leinster yellow card: Aoife Dalton; 56 mins – Leinster yellow card: Ruth Campbell; 60 mins – Leinster yellow card: Christy Haney; 62 mins – Leinster try: Leah Tarpey – 45-5; conversion: Dannah O’Brien – 47-5; 74 mins – Leinster try: Eimear Corri – 52-5; conversion: missed by Dannah O’Brien – 52-5; 80+1 mins – Leinster try: Aoife Wafer – 57-5; conversion: missed by Dannah O’Brien – 57-5; Full-time – Leinster 57 Ulster 5

LEINSTER: Natasja Behan; Aimee Clarke, Aoife Dalton, Leah Tarpey, Clare Gorman; Nikki Caughey, Katie Whelan; Aoife Moore, Lisa Callan, Christy Haney, Ruth Campbell, Eimear Corri, Aoife Wafer, Molly Boyne, Hannah O’Connor (capt).

Replacements used: Emma Tilly for Gorman (8 mins), Linda Djougang for Moore, Elise O’Byrne-White for Behan (both half-time), Ailsa Hughes for Whelan (46), Dannah O’Brien for Caughey (53), Whelan for Clarke (57), Caoimhe Molloy for Haney (70), Emma Murphy for Campbell (73), Jess Keating for Callan (76), Campbell for Corri (79).

ULSTER: Ella Durkan; Niamh Marley, Kelly McCormill, Peita McAllister, Maeve Liston; Abby Moyles, Laura Cairns; Gemma McCamley, Beth Cregan (capt), Aishling O’Connell, Keelin Brady, Taryn Schutzler, Sophie Barrett, Maebh Clenaghan, India Daley.

Replacements used: Sarah Roberts for McCamley (23 mins), Megan Simpson for Daley (29), Ava Fannin for Roberts, Rachel McIlroy for Cairns (half-time), Megan Edwards for Durkan (53), Toni McCartney for Moyles, Stacey Sloan for Cregan (both 68), Cregan for O’Connell (76), Jill Stephens for McAlister (77).

Referee: Andrew Fogarty (IRFU)