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Leinster Fall to Third Pro 14 Loss this Season. Report & Player Ratings.

Report & Player Rating following Leinster’s third defeat this season in the Pro 14

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Edinburgh kept a lacklustre Leinster scoreless in the second-half to see through a 28-11 win over the reigning champions at BT Murrayfield on Friday night.

The result means that Leinster have now lost three matches in the regular season, but on the positive side a host of players got a run out for the visitors.

Leinster got off to a near perfect start with Ciaran Frawley knocking over a sixth-minute penalty, after being moved to 10 with Ross Byrne missing the game through injury.

The visitor’s night got better when Edinburgh lock Fraser McKenzie upended Noel Reid in a tackle and was sent to the sin bin.

Leinster took full advantage when Sean Cronin busted over the line from a maul off a line-out. The extras were missed by Frawley, but it left Leinster leading 8-0 after 15 minutes.

It was all Edinburgh following that, with WP Nel getting over in the 29th minute and Jaco Van der Walt hit over the conversion to leave a point in it.

Leinster were four in front when Frawley knocked over another penalty, however that was the end of Leinster’s scoring for the night as Edinburgh took over.

The away side conceded a penalty try just before half-time after collapsing a ruck leaving it at 14-11 come the interval.

Minutes into the second-half, Dan Leavy was awarded a yellow card as his side continued to concede penalties inside their own 22 with Edinburgh continuing to pressurise.

Edinburgh took full advantage of the extra man with Ross Ford touching down. Van der Walt converted from the touchline and it was a 10-point game.

The hosts claimed their bonus point in the 61st minute when Viliame Mata got in for their fourth try, Simon Hickey kicked the extras this time to make it 28-11.

That was how it ended on a disappointing night for the men in blue.
After the game Leinster head coach Leo Cullen tried to remain positive despite the poor result but acknowledged that his team gave away too many penalties.

“We had a lot of young guys come into the group. It was tough, Edinburgh played quite a smart tactical game. I thought we had some chances in the game that we didn’t quite execute on. Edinburgh put a lot of squeeze on us, we gave away quite a number of penalties for various different offences which put us under a lot of pressure,” he said.

The result brings Edinburgh right back into contention for a play-off spot, while Leinster have already topped the table and will now look towards their Champions Cup quarter-final showdown with rivals Ulster in the Aviva Stadium next weekend.

Player Ratings:

Jimmy O’Brien (5)

Fergus McFadden (4)

Noel Reid (4)

Joseph Tomane (6)

Barry Daly (4)

Ciaran Frawley (6)

Luke McGrath (5)

Ed Byrne (5)

Sean Cronin (6)

Michael Bent (5)

Josh Murphy (6)

Mick Kearney (6)

Rhys Ruddock (6)

Dan Leavy (4)

Max Deegan (7)

Replacements (5)

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Pro14

Scotland Ace Signs Contract Extension

One of Scotland’s key men has decided to put pen to paper on a new deal with his current club

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scotland lock Ben Toolis has signed a new contract with current club Edinburgh ahead of the Six Nations with the national side.

The 27-year-old is included in Scotland’s Six Nations squad and has 22-caps to his name at the moment. Meanwhile at club-level Toolis has made over 100 appearances for Edinburgh since his debut in 2013. 

Speaking on the new deal Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill admitted he is delighted to have the Brisbane-born lock on board for the foreseeable future. 

“Ben is one of the most athletic locks in the league, while his ability and leadership at the lineout is key to the way we play. We are delighted to see him re-sign, and I’ve got no doubt that he will continue to be a big player for this club in the years to come,” he said to the club’s website. 

The length of the deal have not been announced, but it is a boost for both club and country as his stock continues to rise. 

Toolis will be hoping that he can continue his partnership with Grant Gilchrist in the upcoming Six Nations with the squad currently preparing to face Ireland in their opening game on February 1st.

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Pro14

Former Welsh Ace to Hang Up Boots

One of Wales’ former stars has confirmed that he will retire from rugby come the end of the current season

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(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Former Wales back James Hook has announced that he will be calling time on his professional rugby career come the end of the current season.

Hook is contracted to the Ospreys, but with his deal set to end at the end of the campaign he has decided the time has come to pull the curtain on a professional career spanning 16 years. 

“It’s sad but something I’m really looking forward to. It comes to everyone at some point and now it’s time for me. I’ve had lots of highlights, winning Grand Slam titles and Six Nations and going on the Lions tour in 2009. Then signing my first professional contract was a big moment for me. Growing up I always aspired to be a professional rugby player. You never think it’ll actually happen so when it did it really was amazing,” he said in a post on social media. 

The 34-year old picked up a total of 81-caps for Wales to go along with his 148 appearances for the Ospreys. 

As well as his time with the Welsh region Hook had spells at both Top 14 side Perpignan and English Premiership outfit Gloucester between his stints at the Ospreys. 

Hook has admitted he hopes to continue his rugby journey off the pitch, but that he is also looking forward to having more time to spend with his family after such a long time on the playing field. 

“I want to stay involved in the game, particularly working on the skills, like I do now with the young kickers and the age-grade sides, and I’m hoping to finish my level three coaching qualification. It’ll be nice to spend time with my family, my three young boys and my wife. It’s going to be sad not playing at the end of the season, but you’ve got to be positive and look on the bright side and I’m looking forward to what’s next,” he added. 

As well as his rugby career Hook has also written a series of children’s books that are set to be released later this year and that could provide him with something else to venture into if they are successful. 

However, for now he will be hoping that he can help the Ospreys turn around their disastrous season to date before he hangs his boots up for good. 

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Champions Cup

Connacht Set to Lose Big Star

Connacht look set to without one of their key men next season according to reports as he appears set for a move

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Connacht look as though they will have to deal without flanker Colby Fainga’a next season as he appears to be set for a move to French side Lyon according to Irish outlet the42.

They are reporting that the former Rebels man is the Top 14 side’s preferred replacement for the departing Liam Gill, who will leave at the end of this season. 

Connacht were keen to keep their players’ player of the year from last season and had entered contract talks to extend his deal past the original two years, but with talks stalling Lyon have come in with a reported offer of 300,000 euro a season which would be hard to refuse. 

The 28-year-old would be a huge loss to the western province having been such a massive influence since his arrival in 2018. 

However, more positive news for fans is that the back-rower is set to return from a knee injury this weekend against Toulouse, to help Connacht during a period where injuries have severely hampered them. 

It is understood that Connacht would like to replace Fainga’a with another overseas star, but for now they will hope to get the most out of the Aussie between now and the end of the season.

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