Leinster Rugby U18 Girls 22
Ulster Rugby U18 Girls 7

The Leinster U18 Girls travelled to Portadown on Sunday to take on Ulster in the second round of the 2018 Interprovincial Championship.

After overcoming Munster the previous week the Leinster Girls were keen to take the momentum into this game against what they knew would be a determined Ulster side.

Leinster started strong and enjoyed more possession and territory in the early exchanges. Strong carries from Meadbh Scally and captain Judy Bobbett set the tone in the pack while the backs were eager to contribute through Kathryn Dempsey and Molly Fitzgerald.

The early possession and territory told as Molly Fitzgerald finished an excellent team try in style off the back of some brilliant build up.

Soon after, Dempsey made a break and fended off an attempted tackle to finish from 20 metres out. Ava Jenkins converted Dempsey’s effort to give Leinster with a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes.

It looked like Leinster would kick on from here, but a determined Ulster defence forced errors to give them some respite.

Ulster began to drive up the pitch, making good yards through their pack. This set their backs into motion and from this sustained pressure, Ulster went over under the posts to make it 12-7 to Leinster at the break.

Ulster continued to cause Leinster problems after the break, but some great defending from full-back Ella Roberts kept them at bay and this determination to maintain the lead spread to the rest of the team.

Leinster would get the next, crucial score. This time it was through the pack who used a well-worked lineout to drive towards the line with hooker Jess Keating breaking to score in the corner.

Jenkins was unsuccessful with the kick but Leinster now had a 10-point lead. This score sparked Leinster back into life and gave them the confidence to drive on.

Consistent Leinster pressure allowed space for the backs to attack and centre Ali Miley went over for the bonus point try.

Speaking after the game, coach Niall Neville said he was pleased with the result.

“We are really happy to get the result today against a strong Ulster side. When we played well we showed what we are capable of however we were inconsistent at times and will have to improve for next week against Connacht.”

This result means that Saturday’s game against Connacht will be a winner-take-all tie as the western province are also undefeated after the first two rounds.

The Leinster U18 girls will take on Connacht this Saturday at Barnhall RFC (KO 2.45pm).

Leinster Rugby U18 Girls

15. Ella Roberts (Wicklow RFC)
14. Caoimhe O’Callaghan (Dundalk RFC)
13. Ali Miley (Naas RFC)
12. Kathryn Dempsey (New Ross RFC)
11. Molly Fitzgerald (Navan RFC)
10. Ava Jenkins (Mullingar RFC)
9. Jane Waters (Tullamore RFC)
1. Meadhbh OCallaghan (Dundalk RFC)
2. Jessica Keating (Old Belvedere RFC)
3. Rachel Murtagh (Naas RFC)
4. Judy Bobbett (Blackrock College RFC) CAPTAIN
5. Holly Leach (MU Barnhall RFC)
6. Katelynn Doran (Cill Dara RFC)
7. Niamh Hickey (Tullamore RFC)
8. Meadbh Scally (Mullingar RFC)

16. Emily Slater (Arklow RFC)
17. Ellie Meade (Ardee RFC)
18. Nicola Gibson (Westmanstown RFC)
19. Ivanna Dempsey (Clane RFC)
20. Rachel Winters (Wicklow RFC)
21. Ciara Carbery (Cill Dara RFC)
22. Kate Farrell (Gorey RFC)
23. Ciara Faulkner (Mullingar RFC)