Ulster Rugby 14 Leinster Rugby 15

Leinster completed the U19 Interprovincial Championship clean sweep and they did it the hard way against Ulster at Newforge on Saturday afternoon.

It all came down to grit and character as Andy Wood’s young men had to rebound from going behind 14-3.

The first points of the game came when David Fitzgibbon converted a penalty opportunity to give the Leinster team a 3-0 lead in the 19th minute.

It reflected the trend in the game as the visitors created five line-breaks without any further reward.

Leinster Rugby U19

However, the setback of slipping behind seemed to galvanise Ulster and they took the game to Leinster.

They were able to make good on their promising play when number eight David McCann touched down for a try, which Conor Rankin converted, to give Ulster a 7-3 lead at the break.

The home province started the second half in a very positive manner, determined to build on their advantage.

The Leinster defence had to work hard to keep the Ulster attacks at bay.

Leinster Rugby U19

They managed to do so until twelve minutes into the second period when loose-head prop Adam Hanna blasted over the Leinster line for their second try.

Full-back Conor Rankin added the extras to secure a deserved 11-point lead for Ulster.

It was a long way back from there.

Still, Leinster took control of affairs with lock Cian Prendergast, their captain, and flanker Anthony Ryan leading the revival.

Leinster Rugby U19

In fact, the impact of the Leinster bench was significant to the overall outcome as the likes of Jack Cooke, with an important steal on the floor, Harry Noonan and Ryan McMahon maintained Leinster’s standards.

Winger Matthew Jungmann showed commendable aggression to fend off two defenders for a try, converted by Fitzgibbon on the hour.

They completed the comeback through a superb counter from deep which culminated in wing Mark O’Brien bursting over for the winning try in the 67th minute.

Leinster Rugby U19

“It is a real tough competition, always is,” said Team Manager Noel McKenna.

“There is jubilation after winning it. There is also exhaustion. The lads had to give everything to win it.

“We could have thrown in the towel when we went 14-3 down. But the lads never stopped working.

“The guts of eight-nine weeks work came down to the last few minutes.

“The coaches are immensely proud of the work the boys have put in and how they got through in the end.”

At Newforge – Ulster 14 (D McCann, A Hanna try each; C Rankin 2 cons); Leinster 15 (M Jungmann, M O’Brien try each; D Fitzgibbon pen, con).

Ulster Rugby

15. Conor Rankin (Campbell)
14. Ethan McIlroy (Methodist)
13. Ben Power (Queen’s University)
12. Angus Adair (RBAI) CAPTAIN
11. Chris Larmour (Methodist)
10. Thomas Armstrong (Methodist)
9. Lewis Finlay (Ballynahinch)
1. Adam Hanna (Banbridge Academy)
2. Jack Treanor (City of Armagh)
3. Ben McCrossan (Bangor Grammar)
4. Conor McMenamin (Letterkenny)
5. Stephen Kelly (Letterkenny)
6. Riley Westwood (Bangor Grammar)
7. Ryan O’Neill (City of Armagh)
8. David McCann (Banbridge)

16. Bryn Davies (Rainey Endowed)
17. George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper)
18. Robbie Mathers (Banbridge)
19. Jack Stinson (Campbell)
20. David Brown (Coleraine Grammar)
21. Charlie Worth (Royal School Armagh)
22. Robbie Johnston (Queen’s University)
23. Robbie Armstrong (Methodist)
24. Greg Hutley (Down High)

Leinster Rugby

15. Max O’Reilly (St Gerard’s School)
14. Matthew Jungmann (Newpark Comprehensive School)
13. Luis Faria (Newpark Comprehensive School)
12. Michael McGiff (Clontarf FC)
11. Mark O’Brien (St Michael’s College)
10. David Fitzgibbon (Blackrock College)
9. Adam McEvoy (St Mary’s College) 1. Marcus Hanan (Clane RFC)
2. Mark Nicholson (Wicklow RFC)
3. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC)
4. Cian Prendergast (Newbridge College) CAPTAIN
5. Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC)
6. Anthony Ryan (Clongowes Wood College)
7. Jody Booth (St Michael’s College)
8. Edward Brennan (Blackrock College)

16. Harry Noonan (Greystones RFC)
17. Bobby Sheehan (Clongowes Wood College)
18. Ryan McMahon (Clongowes Wood College)
19. Rory Wilson (St Gerard’s School)
20. Sean OBrien (Blackrock College)
21. Jack Connolly (Gonzaga College)
22. David O’Brien (St Gerard’s School)
23. Gavin Jones (Blackrock College)