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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

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(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

Ulster & Leinster names teams for PRO14 Clash

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster match-day squad to host Leinster tomorrow night at Kingspan Stadium has been named (kick-off 7.35pm).

Having returned from injury off the bench last Friday against Ospreys, Robert Baloucoune comes into the starting back three, joining Jacob Stockdale on the left wing and Michael Lowry at full-back. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume have retained their starting berths in midfield. John Cooney and Ian Madigan are named at half-back.

In the front row, both Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole come in to start at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively, with John Andrew retaining his place at hooker. Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell will partner up in the second row. Marcell Coetzee makes his return from injury to start at Number Eight, and is named alongside Nick Timoney and skipper, Jordi Murphy.

Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Marty Moore, Cormac Izuchukwu and Sean Reidy will offer forwards cover on the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Rob Lyttle providing the back line options. 

Ulster team to play Leinster Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 14, Saturday 6 March at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm, live on Premier Sports): 

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney.

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Andrew Warwick, Marty Moore, Cormac Izuchukwu, Sean Reidy, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle.

Leinster also have announced their team.

Academy back Max O’Reilly starts at full-back for his fifth cap of the season, with try-scorer from last week Cian Kelleher on the right wing and Dave Kearney on the left. Kearney has seven tries in 12 games so far this season.

Rory O’Loughlin starts in the number 12 jersey this week, with Jimmy O’Brien wearing the number 13 outside him.

Captain McGrath is joined this week by Ross Byrne who was released by Andy Farrell to Leinster during the week.

Ed Byrne is another released back to Leinster and he starts at loosehead, with James Tracy at hooker and Michael Bent at tighthead.

Devin Toner and Scott Fardy are the second row combination for Cullen’s side for the second week in a row, as Toner gets ever closer to Gordon D’Arcy’s all-time Leinster caps record of 261.

In the back row, Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier are the final two available to Cullen having been released back to the province and they start at blindside and openside, with Guinness Man of the Match from last week, Scott Penny, completing the starting XV for Leinster Rugby.

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6 Nations

Cian Healy signs short term extension

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Ireland and Leinster loosehead prop Cian Healy has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Cian is Ireland’s most capped prop forward having lined out for Ireland on 107 occasions to date. He made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia making two appearances before injury ended his involvement.

Cian has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions winning four Heineken Cup titles during his career in blue.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade.  He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level.  Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish Rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”

Cian Healy, commented,

“My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever.  I am lucky enough to currently be part to two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals.

I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”

Article from Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

O’Mahony Signs Contract Extension with IRFU

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Ireland and Munster backrow Peter O’Mahony has signed a two year extension to his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until 2023.

Peter made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations against Italy in 2012 and has gone on to win 74 caps and captain his country on eight occasions.  A Lions tourist in 2017, Peter captained the Lions in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

Peter has represented Munster on 141 occasions becoming captain of his province in 2013 at the age of 24.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Peter has played a leadership role in Munster from an early age and is one of the senior leaders in the national squad.  He is a competitor and passionate about playing for both Ireland and Munster.”

Peter O’Mahony, commented,

“It’s a huge privilege to sign on with the province and country I’ve grown up in and dreamed of playing for. It’s been something I’ve been very open about saying from day one and its very pleasing to be able to continue the journey for two more years.

There’s a huge amount of responsibility that comes with representing both teams and I understand how much pressure there is to deliver silverware, however, I am incredibly enthusiastic on the position and competitiveness of both Munster and Ireland and I look forward to hopefully contributing to both, to succeed in delivering that success on the pitch.”

Irish Rugby

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