Leinster ‘A’ stepped up their preparations ahead of the B&I Cup semi final against Munster next month with a 50-0 victory in Wednesday afternoon’s friendly at Anglesea Road…

Leinster opened the scoring after 5 minutes when Brendan Macken took a Mat Berquist pass to touch down under the posts after a spell of pressure from the home side which saw – separately – first skipper Jack McGrath, Mark Flanagan and then Jamie Hagan barge forward close to the try-line.

The returning Berquist, featuring in Leinster colours for the first time in six months, added the extras to make it 7-0.

Connacht rallied and when a Leinster forward was adjudged to not having rolled away at a ruck ten minutes later, it gave out-half Jack Carty a chance to shave the deficit with a penalty outside the Leinster 22, but the kick fell wide of the upright.

A high tackle by Connacht prop Rodney Ah You in the 22nd minute led to a yellow card and Leinster tried to turn the numerical advantage in their favour. John Cooney and Berquist probed for an opening inside the westerners’ 22 before number eight Leo Auva’a, on his home ground, gathered the ball at a base of a scrum and stretched over the line on the half hour mark for the second try of the afternoon.

Berquist’s conversion doubled Leinster’s lead and with four minutes remaining of the half Auva’a crossed for his third try, this time in the corner, after a clever Andrew Boyle pass with Berquist’s difficult touchline conversion attempt falling inches wide of the posts.

Connacht almost scored their opening points on the stroke of half time when Dave Moore’s pass fell forward of the onrushing second row Conor Kindegren and the scoreline remained 19-0 to the hosts at the interval.

The second half with several Andrew Conway bursts and eventually the pressure told with Macken scoring his second try of the afternoon on 45 minutes after taking a looping Auva’a pass out on the right wing to cut in and score, which Berquist again converted, to make it 26-0.

A Berquist penalty on 53 minutes extended Leinster’s lead and the New Zealander left the field to a strong round of applause from the appreciative crowd – after an impressive all-round performance – as replacement out-half Noel Reid entered the fray.

Cooney showed an impressive turn of pace to sprint clear of the Connacht defence and his pass found Reid who released Darren Hudson who dotted down under the posts, with Reid adding the conversion, to make it 36-0 after 62 minutes.

With six minutes remaining Dominic Ryan intercepted a pass well inside his half to race clear to score, with Reid converting, to bring the score up to 43-0 for the hosts before Macken completed his hat-trick after taking a Reid pass which the replacement out-half converted, to leave the final scoreline 50-0.

LEINSTER SCORERS: B. Macken (3 tries), L. Auva’a (2 tries), D. Hudson, D. Ryan (1 try), M. Berquist (3 conversions, 1 penalty), N. Reid (2 conversions)


15: Andrew Conway
14: Andrew Boyle (Steve Crosbie, 64)
13: Brendan Macken
12: Colm O’Shea
11: Darren Hudson
10: Mat Berquist (Noel Reid, 54)
9: John Cooney

1: Jack McGrath CAPTAIN (James Tracy, 66)
2: Aaron Dundon (Tom Sexton, 66)
3: Jamie Hagan (Martin Moore, 66)
4: Brad Thorn (Alan O’Connor, ht)
5: Mark Flanagan
6: Rhys Ruddock (Jordi Murphy, 58)
7: Dominic Ryan (David Doyle, 75)
8: Leo Auva’a


15: Matthew Jarvis
14: James Loxton
13: Brian Murphy
12: Tadhg Leader
11: Darragh Leader
10: Jack Carty CAPTAIN
9: Dave Moore

1: Finlay Bealham
2: Dermot Murphy
3: Rodney Ah You
4: Conor Kindegren
5: Mick Kearney
6: Dave Heffernan
7: Eoghan Grace
8: Eoin McKeon


16: Kevin O’Byrne
17: Dennis Buckley
18: Jamie Stephens
19: Brian Moylett
20: Isaac O’Grady
21: Mark Dolan
22: Matt Dever
23: Conor Fitzgibbon

REFEREE: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: David Keane, Brian Montayne (both IRFU)