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Pro14

Leinster Demolish Kings at RDS: Match Highlights & Report

Leinster continue their dominance at the top of Conference B

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photo by Peter Fitzpatrick/Action Plus via Getty Images

Leinster scored nine tries in a 59-19 win over the Kings at the RDS on Friday to stretch their lead at the top of Conference B.

The win moves Leinster 27 points clear at the top of Conference B for the time being.

The hosts started well and took the lead in the 5th minute through Noel Reid, who touched down close to the posts after a well-timed run. Ross Bryne kicked the extras to make it 7-0.

Within 15 minutes the game was turned upside down as Bjorn Basson scored in left corner, before No 9 Sarel Pretorius completed the turn around to make it 12-7 after 20 minutes.

Within seven minutes Leinster were back out in front by seven points thanks to two tries from man of the match Ed Byrne.

Both of the tries came from strong carries and Byrne converted the first but sent the second wide.

After a slick move between the backs, Reid was in for the bonus-point try with only 36 minutes on the clock. Byrne missed his second of the night to leave it at 24-12 to Leinster at half-time.

Two minutes into the second-half and the Kings had reduced the defecate with Badar Pretorius breaking a couple of tackles before handing over to
Ulrich Beyers to get over for their third try. It was converted to make it 24-19 heading into the 35 minutes.

With 46 minutes gone Leinster were over again, this time Byrne scored all seven points to stretch their lead out 12 points.

Eight minutes on and Andrew Porter was in for try six following sustained pressure from the Blues and Byrne added the two extras.

Max Deegan broke through the defence with 16 minutes left on the clock for his sixth try of the season.

Conor O’Brien and sub Rory O’Loughlin combined to send over RDS debutant scrum-half Paddy Patterson with five minutes left. With O’Loughlin touching down for a try of his own after 77 minutes to finish the try scoring for the hosts.

Byrne kicked conversion number seven and it remained 59-19 until the end.

The win now means that Leinster have won 14 of their 16 matches this season and are cruising to first in the conference while the Kings stay bottom with another big loss.

Leinster will take on the Cheetahs next weekend in what will be a tougher challenge for the reigning champions. The Kings are heading to Wales next to play the Cardiff Blues as they continue their search for a first away win in the competition.

Match Highlights:

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Pro14

2020 PRO14 Final Destination Confirmed

Next season’s PRO14 final will take place in a stadium it has never been before but there is one notable question mark surrounding the announcement

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(photo by Peter Fitzpatrick/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The Cardiff City Stadium has been announced as the destination for the 2020 Guinness PRO14 final, in what is a first for the Welsh capital.

The game will take place on the 20th of June next year and Wales international Sam Warburton is delighted it will take place in his home-place.

“Rugby has always been a sport at the heart of Wales and having another world-class rugby event in our capital city is very exciting. I have seen a couple of matches in Cardiff City Stadium and the atmosphere can be electric with the right crowd – it’s going to be a great final whichever of the teams make it. Being a Cardiff boy myself, I could be biased, but it really is a great city with a great community. As the crow flies, the Cardiff City Stadium is under a mile from the city centre, so it makes a great location for fans wanting to make a day or a weekend of the event,” he said.

Although the announcement comes as good news for the club and local fans, the wider public have noted that the stadium is smaller than previous ones to have hosted the showpiece.

In fact, there has been record-breaking attendances over consecutive years since 2016 with this season’s final in Glasgow topping the lot with 47,128 people heading to Celtic Park to watch Leinster retain their crown.

However, PRO14 CEO Martin Anayi has confirmed that the decision to head to the 33,280-capacity stadium next season is to hopefully see a sell-out crowd unlike in the past number of years.

“Choosing Cardiff City Stadium as the location for next year’s final allows us to aim for a sell-out event after four successive years of setting new attendance records. Bringing the final to Wales is another move in making the decider about supporters of rugby, not just fans of the teams involved, and we know from experience that Welsh supporters are the most vocal. Cardiff City Stadium also brings us to a football venue for the second year in a row after the tremendous success of our most recent final in Glasgow’s Celtic Park,” he said.

Whatever the thoughts are Cardiff is the place to be next June, the question is what two teams will be battling it out when the time comes?

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Pro14

Ulster Rugby Lad meets… Ross Kane

Ross Kane speaks to Peter Lockhart

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Ross Kane is a card-carrying member of the beefy brethren known in rugby circles as the front row club.

He has become an important player for Ulster, deputising for Marty Moore and becoming an important part of the ‘new generation’ at Ulster.

Here, he chats to Peter Lockhart from Ulster Rugby Lad about his propping destiny, his rugby hero and puppy problems.

Who or what made you passionate about rugby?

My passion for rugby really grew when I joined Methody in 1st year, watching all the older guys and friends of mine make it through and play professionally.

Who was the player you most admired growing up?

It’s hard to look much further than Rory Best for the most admired player growing up as he was achieving what every young player coming through Ulster wanted to achieve. Finally making my debut and getting to play alongside him was a very proud moment for me.

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What made you want to play as a prop?

Many people will tell you that you don’t choose to be a prop, being a prop chooses you. Being a bit bigger in school always had me in the front row and I never managed to escape!

What would you be doing if you weren’t playing professional rugby?

If I wasn’t playing rugby, I’d hope to be working in the construction industry as I’m in the middle of finishing my engineering degree.

What advice would you give to any young aspiring front row players?

Advice I would give to young front rowers would be to soak up as much information as possible. Small details will put you ahead of other players.

How do you get into the right mindset before a game? Do you have any pre-match routines or rituals?

I don’t have any pre match rituals, as long I know I have prepared well I know I’ll be in the right mindset for the game.

What are your expectations for Ulster in the next few years?

My expectations for Ulster over the next few years are to be consistently putting ourselves in a position to compete at the top level.

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Is there a failure or apparent failure that set you up for a later success?

I think personally not getting selected for the academy after my U20 season really made me realise that I needed to change my mindset and approach to rugby and thankfully 2 years later I was selected for a summer trial for the academy.

What hobbies/obsessions do you explore in your free time?

I’ve recently just got 2 puppies with my girlfriend so most of my free time will be used trying to teach them to not go to the toilet in the house.

Thanks Ross!

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Pro14

Ulster Rugby announce new Club Captain.

Captain for the 2019/20 season.

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Ulster Rugby this morning announced who will succeed Rory Best as the Captain of Ulster Rugby for the 2019/20 season.

Iain Henderson is the chosen man for the job. The Irish & British Lion will return to captain Ulster following probable selection for Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign.

The 27-year-old, who is currently in Ireland’s training squad ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019, has represented his home Province on 105 occasions.

Henderson started his rugby journey at Academy RFC, before continuing his development at Belfast Royal Academy.

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The versatile forward represented Ulster and Ireland at various age-grade levels on route to making his senior provincial debut in April 2012, against Connacht.

Henderson has since become a key figure for Ulster and Ireland, winning 44 caps for the latter. He played in four of Ireland’s games during the 6 Nations Grand Slam success of 2018, while he also featured in 2014 and 2015 Championship wins.

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