Leinster fell to a narrow 16-14 defeat to Ulster in Saturday night’s Magners League clash at a wet and wild Ravenhill…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: “I think we were too patchy, though I felt that we played well in certain stages of the game. We didn’t manage the first half well and that cost us.
“Tonight we worked hard but we weren’t smart enough and gave them yards when we shouldn’t have. Having made a few changes to the team it wasn’t going to be easy for them to get consistency. The important thing is that we get back on the road again against Cardiff in front of our home crowd.”
The game started with a penalty which was awarded to the hosts when the ball blew back from the howling gale that swept across the Belfast venue. It was a sign of things to come as the weather dictated play in a stop-start half which reaped a 38th minute penalty for Ian Humphreys in what was the first score of the game.
Shaun Berne saw three penalties blow wide of the upright before kicking a superb conversion in injury time after he had capitalised on some quick thinking by Jamie Heaslip to dart into the corner for a clever piece of quick-thinking.
Leinster took a 7-3 lead into the interval, but Humphreys reduced the lead to a point with a 46th minute penalty before an Isaac Boss breakaway try three minutes later, which the Ulster out-half converted, gave the hosts a 13-7 lead. Wth Brian O’Driscoll a constant menace, Leinster looked threatening, while the back three of Rob Kearney, Girvan Dempsey and Isa Nacewa coped admirably in the conditions.
However it was a forward orientated game and Humphreys’ 72nd minute effort appeared to give Ulster the win, but Luke Fitzgerald’s late try, converted by sub Jonathan Sexton, ensured a bonus point for Leinster.
ULSTER SCORERS: I. Boss (1 try), I. Humphreys (3 penalties, 1 conversion)
LEINSTER SCORERS: S. Berne (1 try, 1 conversion), L. Fitzgerald (1 try), J. Sexton (1 conversion)
ULSTER: 15: Clinton Schifcofske, 14: Timoci Nagusa, 13: Darren Cave, 12: Ian Whitten, 11: Andrew Trimble, 10: Ian Humphreys, 9: Isaac Boss; 1: Tom Court, 2: Nigel Brady, 3: Brendon Botha, 4: Dan Tuohy, 5: Ryan Caldwell, 6: Tamaiti Horua, 7: Willie Faloon, 8: Chris Henry CAPTAIN
REPLACEMENTS: 16: Andy Kyriacou, 17: Bryan Young, 18: Ed O’Donoghue, 19: Robbie Diack, 20: Paul Marshall, 21: Niall O’Connor, 22: Simon Danielli
15: Rob Kearney
14: Girvan Dempsey (Luke Fitzgerald, 54)
13: Brian O’Driscoll CAPTAIN
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Isa Nacewa
10: Shaun Berne (Jonathan Sexton, 58)
9: Chris Keane (Simon Keogh, 67)
1: Ronan McCormack (CJ van der Linde, half time)
2: Bernard Jackman (John Fogarty, 41)
3: Mike Ross
4: Devin Toner (Malcolm O’Kelly, 26-28 and half time)
5: Nathan Hines
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Stephen Keogh, 67)
7: Sean O’Brien
8: Jamie Heaslip
REFEREE: Andrew Small (RFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: John Lacey (IRFU), Jude Quinn (IRFU), TMO: John Carvill (IRFU)