Leinster ended their Magners League campaign with a spirited performance in an 18-9 defeat to the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Saturday evening…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: "I thought that there were some good performances out there, but in key moments in the game things didn’t go our way. The effort was good and we could have won the game.
"Rob (Kearney) needed 80 minutes and he also got time at full-back which was good for him. We want to three finishes in the league every year and tonight was a great opportunity to give some of the younger players some game time. I was pleased with Kyle Tonetti and Ian McKinley, while Sean O’Brien and Kevin McLaughlin also played well."
A penalty try and a fine score from full-back Martyn Thomas gave the home side a 12-6 lead at the interval. Ian McKinley linked well with fellow debutant Kyle Tonetti throughout the game and it was another product of the Leinster Academy, Fergus McFadden, who added to his two first-half penalties with a third successful kick after the break.
But James Arlidge sealed victory for the Dragons with two penalties at the end.
DRAGONS SCORERS: Penalty Try, Martyn Thomas (1 try each), James Arlidge (2 penalties), Jason Tovey (1 conversion)
LEINSTER SCORERS: Fergus McFadden (3 penalties)
DRAGONS: Martyn Thomas, Gareth Wyatt, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Phil Dollman, Richard Fussell, Jason Tovey, Wayne Evans, Adam Black, Tom Willis CAPTAIN, Rhys Thomas, Andrew Hall, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, Lewis Evans, Craig Hill
REPLACEMENTS: Steve Jones, Nigel Hall, Huw Gustafson, Grant Webb, Aled Brew, James Arlidge, Alex Walker
15: Girvan Dempsey
14: Simon Keogh
13: Fergus McFadden
12: Kyle Tonetti (David Kearney, 60)
11: Rob Kearney
10: Ian McKinley (Ian Madigan, 75)
9: Chris Keane (Paul O’Donohoe, 50)
1: Ronan McCormack
2: John Fogarty
3: Stephen Knoop (Jamie Hagan, 78)
4: Trevor Hogan
5: Devin Toner
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Sean O’Brien
8: Stephen Keogh CAPTAIN (Cameron Jowitt, 50)
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Brian Blaney, Paul Ryan
REFEREE: Graham Knox (SRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Hugh Watkins (WRU), David Jones (WRU), TMO: Gareth Simmonds (WRU)