Connect with us

Pro14

Leinster Hammer Dragons to Continue Impressive Start

Leinster have maintained their 100% start to the season in the PRO14 with yet another brilliant win against the Dragons

Published

on

(Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have made it five wins from five at the start of the PRO14 season with a 50-15 Victory over the Dragons in the RDS tonight.

A brace each from Dave Kearney and James Lowe, along with tries from Michael Bent Harry Byrne, Ronan Kelleher and Hugh O’Sullivan saw Leinster ease past the Welsh outfit. 

Leinster got off to the perfect start with Bent barrelling over from close-range inside nine minutes with Peter Dooley and Ryan Baird helping over the line. The conversion was missed but it was 5-0 to the hosts. 

However, ten minutes later the Dragons got back into the game as Sam Davies knocked over a penalty to make it a two-point game. 

The men in blue hit back straight away stretching their lead with their second try of the game as they exchanged the ball with some brilliant handling skills on the right-hand touchline before Dave Kearney raced in for the five-pointer. Byrne slotted over the extras making it 12-3 with just over a quarter of the match gone. 

Once again the away side came back after conceding as Jordan Williams went over after the ball went loose in the opposition 22. Davies couldn’t cut further into the lead as he sent the conversion wide. 

With little over five minutes remaining in the half Leinster fly-half Byrne went in for their third try on his first start for the province as he burst through a gap in the Dragons defence to touch down. He converted his own try to give the hosts a 19-8 lead come the whistle. 

The hosts got off to a blistering start in the second period as a line-out maul four minutes into the half saw Kelleher go over for his side’s fourth try securing another bonus-point for the reigning champions. Bryne couldn’t add the two extra this time around but Leinster were on fire in the pelting rain. 

Two minutes on and try number five arrived as Byrne sent an inch perfect cross-field kick to Kearney, who darted forward before passing inside, but he got the ball back once again to jink inside to get over for the score. Byrne again failed from the tee but suddenly it was 29-8 to the hosts. 

As the clock ticked over the hour mark Leinster had another try as they showed some wonderful hands on the left-hand side, beating the on-rushing defence to send the ball to winger Lowe who had open-field ahead of him which he ran into to put the ball over the line. Byrne found his kicking boots to add the conversion from the left. 

Three minutes later and a bit of luck lead to replacement scrum-half O’Sullivan finding himself only needing to touch the ball down for the five-points. Byrne notched over the conversion to make it 43-8. 

Another two minutes on and Lowe and Leinster went over for another try, with the ball being knocked on by the Dragons, straight into Lowe’s arms, with the winger sprinting over from the half-way line for his side’s seventh try. Byrne had the easy task of adding the two points from in front of the posts to make it a half-century for the hosts. 

Dragons had the final say in the game with a last minute consolation try through winger Owen Jenkins who raced over in the right corner. The conversion meant that it finished 50-15 to Leinster.

The win means that Leinster have secured four bonus-point wins from their opening five matches and maintain a 100% record at the start of the 2019/20 PRO14 season as they look to win a third title on the bounce. Next up for the boys in blue is a trip to Connacht next week for their first interprovincial derby of the season, while for the Dragons they face another tough trip away to Edinburgh.

Leinster Player Ratings

Starting XV:

Jimmy O’Brien (7), Dave Kearney (8), Rory O’Loughlin (7), Conor O’Brien (7), James Lowe (8), Harry Byrne (9), Jamison Gibson-Park (8); Peter Dooley (7), Ronan Kelleher (8), Michael Bent (7), Devin Toner (7), Ryan Baird (7), Max Deegan (7), Scott Penny (8), Caelan Doris (7)

Replacements (8)

Pro14

Ludik Returns for Ulster’s Ospreys Trip

Ulster have named their squad to play Ospreys in the PRO14 tomorrow and star back Louis Ludik makes a return to action

Published

on

(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has announced his 23-man squad for tomorrow’s PRO14 clash with the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium at 17 15.

Star back-liner Louis Ludik makes a welcome return from injury to slot straight back into the starting line-up along with the likes of Robert Baloucoune, Stuart McCloskey and Billy Burns coming back in after being released from the Ireland squad by head coach Andy Farrell. 

In the front-row Eric O’Sullivan starts alongside Adam McBurney and Marty Moore, with Alan O’Connor captaining the side in Iain Henderson’s absence from the second-row beside Kieran Treadwell. 

In the back-row Matthew Rea is at blindside-flanker, with Sean Reidy at openside and Marcell Coetzee completes the forward pack from No 8. 

David Shanahan comes in at scrum-half, with Burns linking-up with him in the half-backs, and they have McCloskey and Luke Marshall outside them in the midfield duo. 

Ludik opens the game on the left-wing, with Baloucoune on the right and Matt Faddes finishes the starting XV from full-back. 

There is a huge amount of experience on the bench to call upon if needed with the likes of Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Bill Johnston and Craig Gilroy among the replacements. 

Ulster will be hoping to continue their fine start to the season and maintain their push for a top two finish in Conference A, while the Ospreys will be desperate for a positive result in what has been a terrible season to date as they sit bottom of the conference after 10 games. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

Matt Faddes, Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik, Billy Burns, David Shanahan; Eric O’Sullivan, Adam McBurney, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (C), Kieran Treadwell, Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee

Replacements: 

John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Jordi Murphy, Jonny Stewart, Bill Johnston, Craig Gilroy

Continue Reading

Pro14

Leinster Go Strong for Cheetahs Clash

Leinster have named a strong squad to face the Cheetahs tomorrow despite many players being on Irish duty

Published

on

(Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced a strong squad to take on the Cheetahs in the PRO14 at the RDS tomorrow at 14 30.

Despite many of his players being away on Irish duty Cullen has been able to name a vastly experienced side with some youth mixed in. 

Among those included are players released by Ireland head coach Andy Farrell for this weekend with Ronan Kelleher, Will Connors, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath and Dave Kearney all being handed starting positions. 

Either side of Kelleher in the front-row are Peter Dooley and Michael Bent, with Ross Molony partnering captain Scott Fardy in the second-row. 

Rhys Ruddock will hope to keep himself in the frame of an Irish call-up with a good performance at blindside-flanker, with Connors at openside and Deegan completes the starting pack from No 8. 

McGrath comes in at scrum-half and links up with Ciaran Frawley in the half-backs, with Joe Tomane and Jimmy O’Brien outside them in the midfield. 

Dave Kearney takes up a spot on the left-wing, with Fergus McFadden on the right and Rob Kearney seals an experienced back three from full-back where he will hope to impress in the absence of Jordan Larmour. 

On the bench there is a mix of youth and experience too with the likes of Scott Penny and Harry Byrne joining Sean Cronin and Jamison Gibson-Park on the bench. 

Speaking ahead of the game lock Molony believes that even without the international stars the team can get a positive result. 

“The group is in a really good place, everyone can step up,” he said. 

Leinster will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the season with a 17th win in a row, but they know that it won’t be easy with the Cheetahs looking to remain in the play-off places in what has been a good opening to the season for them to date. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

15. Rob Kearney (217)

14. Fergus McFadden (182)

13. Jimmy O’Brien (14)

12. Joe Tomane (19)

11. Dave Kearney (146)

10. Ciarán Frawley (22)

9. Luke McGrath (121)

1. Peter Dooley (73)

2. Rónan Kelleher (10)

3. Michael Bent (132)

4. Ross Molony (93)

5. Scott Fardy (55) (c)

6. Rhys Ruddock (169)

7. Will Connors (13)

8. Max Deegan (60)

Replacements: 

16. Seán Cronin (178)

17. Michael Milne (5)

18. Roman Salanoa (2)

19. Ryan Baird (4)

20. Scott Penny (11)

21. Jamison Gibson-Park (85)

22. Harry Byrne (6)

23. Cian Kelleher (12)

Continue Reading

Premiership

Young Eying Up New Job

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young could already have his next job lined up according to reports

Published

on

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young could be in line for a return to the Ospreys according to RugbyPass.

Young was relieved of his duties as the Premiership side’s director of rugby earlier in the week with Lee Blackett taking up the role on an interim basis the club confirmed. 

“Director of rugby Dai Young will be stepping back from first-team duties for an interim period. Lee Blackett will step up to interim head coach. Further announcements will be made in due course,” a statement read on Tuesday. 

However, it now appears as though the 51-year-old could make his absence permanent with a shock move to take over as Ospreys head coach. 

The PRO14 outfit have struggled so far this season and have already got rid of one manager in Allen Clarke, who was replaced at the end of 2019, with Mike Ruddock coming in on an interim basis. 

It is unknown how long his contract runs for, but if Young became available and was interested it would seem likely that the former Osprey’s player would be a prime candidate to take control on a full-term basis. 

There are other reports from Wales Online claiming that the Welsh side are checking out Springboks attack coach Swys de Bruin as well. 

Although it would appear as though Young’s experience in bringing clubs to the top would be exactly what Ospreys need and after nine years at the Ricoh Arena hw might like a new challenge.

Continue Reading

Trending

Secured By miniOrange