Seven try Leinster ‘A’ put in a fine all round performance in defeating the Ulster Ravens 46-19 at Donnybrook on Friday evening…

Ulster out-half Paddy Jackson had the game’s first scoring opportunity after two minutes but his penalty attempt, five metres inside the Leinster half, fell wide of the posts.

But Jackson made amends three minutes later with a three-pointer following an offside infringement by a Leinster forward to push Ulster into a 3-0 lead.

Leinster rallied and a quick tap penalty from scrum-half John Cooney in the 8th minute after Leinster won a scrum led to a move which culminated in Noel Reid penalty falling wide of the posts at the Wesley end of the ground.

The host’s tails were up and first skipper Dominic Ryan and then prop Jack McGrath applied pressure with some powerful drives. Then in the 13th minute centre Colm O’Shea produced a fine solo break into the opposition 22 and the ball found Leo Auva’a out wide who found Andrew Conway on an overlap to race clear and score.

Reid’s conversion attempt struck the upright but Leinster edged into a 5-3 nonetheless. A second Jackson penalty helped Gary Longwell’s side restore their lead by a single point in the 20th minute. With Leinster’s pack asserting themselves at set piece.

Steven Sykes gathered an Aaron Dundon lineout metres from the Ulster line but the attack was quelled and Ulster regrouped through scrum-half Ian Porter who was denied a try on the half hour mark by a strong covering tackle by Ciaran Ruddock.

With Jackson in the sin-bin kicking duties were assumed by Porter who slotted home a penalty to make it 9-5, but almost instantly from the restart Darren Hudson benefitted from a powerful Conway burst to touch down – with Reid’s fine conversion making it 12-9 to the hosts after 33 minutes.

A third penalty from Jackson levelled the scores as the half drew to a close.

Leinster began the second half with great zeal and hooker Dundon made some positive inroads into the Ulster 22 before being held up as the try-line beckoned. In a separate move in the 50th minute Brendan Macken sprinted down the touchline and linked up well with Cooney.

From the resulting scrum number eight Leo Auva’a took from the base of the scrum, found Cooney whose deft inside pass found Hudson who burst through the Ulster midfield to touch down for his second try.

Reid’s conversion sailed over the posts at the Bective end of the ground to make it 19-12 to the hosts after 52 minutes and two minutes later Jamie Hagan barged over from close in to extend Leinster’s lead to 24-12.

A Niall Annett offside infringement led to Ulster’s second yellow card on the hour mark and substitute out-half Cathal Marsh extended Leinster’s lead to 15 points.

Then in the 65th minute Leinster upped the ante with Ruddock getting his name on the scoresheet with Leinster’s fifth try of the evening, converted again by Reid, following an initial Auva’a break from a scrum to make it 34-12.

Winger Andrew Boyle got in on the act with a well-worked try after some smart play by substitute Cillian Willis in the 72nd minute before Ulster centre Chris Farrell added some gloss to the Ulster tally in the 78th minute, with replacement James McKinney converting, to reduce Leinster’s lead to 20 points before Ruddock added his second try in the last minute of the game, which Marsh converted, to secure Leinster’s seventh try of the evening.

*Leinster will face Esher RFC in the opening round of the B&I Cup on Saturday, 12th November (KO: 3pm).

LEINSTER ‘A’ SCORERS: D. Hudson, C. Ruddock (2 tries each), A. Conway, J. Hagan, A. Boyle (1 try each), N. Reid (3 conversions), C. Marsh (1 penalty, 1 conversion)

ULSTER RAVENS SCORERS: C. Farrell (1 try), P. Jackson (3 penalties), I. Porter (1 penalty), J. McKinney (1 conversion)

15: Andrew Conway (Danny Riordan, 55)
14: Darren Hudson
13: Brendan Macken
12: Colm O’Shea
11: Andrew Boyle
10: Noel Reid (Cathal Marsh, 58-62 blood & 75)
9: John Cooney (Cillian Willis, 60)

1: Jack McGrath (Jack O’Connell, 71)
2: Aaron Dundon (Jason Harris-Wright, 66)
3: Jamie Hagan (Martin Moore, 66)
4: Steven Sykes
5: Mark Flanagan (Neilus Keogh, 55)
6: Ciaran Ruddock
7: Dominic Ryan CAPTAIN (Jordi Murphy, 60)
8: Leo Auva’a


15: Ricky Andrew
14: Conor Gaston
13: Michael Allen
12: Chris Farrell
11: Chris Cochrane
10: Paddy Jackson
9: Ian Porter

1: Callum Black
2: John Burns
3: Adam Macklin
4: Iain Henderson
5: Neil McComb CAPTAIN
6: Conor Joyce
7: David McGuigan
8: Sean O’Connell


16: Niall Annett
17: Kyle McCall
18: Ryan Jablonski
19: James Simpson
20:Neil Falloon
21: Blane McIlroy
22: James McKinney
23: Peter Nelson

REFEREE: Eanna O’Dowd (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Paul Haycock, Sean Gallagher (both IRFU)