Hugh Hogan’s Leinster made better use of the chances that came their way in what was a hotly contested Under-19 Interprovincial Championship match at Templeville Road on Saturday afternoon…


Munster sent out notice of their intent right from the off when number eight Kelvin Brown crashed into contact, scrum-half John Poland darted here and there, prop Ben Betts cleared out two men at a ruck and their scrum was dominant on Leinster ball.

They were menacing on the front-foot until going off their feet at a ruck. And so it went. Munster worked their way into the right place on the park without bringing the clinical edge to go with their approach play.   
The homesteaders needed to settle. They went to captain James Ryan at a lineout and mauled the ball forward. They kept the pill patiently. When a penalty came, centre Matthew Gilsenan upped the tempo from a tap-and-go.

This was all for nothing when referee brought back play on the advice of his tough judge for a Leinster transgression. Territory was taken, but not used well enough by Munster, flanker Will Connors forcing a penalty on the floor.

From there, Ryan soared at a lineout, Gilsenan cut through the middle and centre Con Callan was at his shoulder to use his pace for the opening try in the 14th minute. Full-back Alan Hughes converted.
Any notion that Leinster would take control was quickly put to bed when Munster left wing Joe White beat three defenders on a mazy run that ended in fly-half Paul Downes kicking a 22nd minute penalty.

At times, Munster looked the real deal through their three-quarter line. On one occasion, long passes put full-back James O’Connor into enough space to split defenders in what looked like a decisive break before Leinster fly-half Jimmy O’Brien arrived just in time to knock him over.   

It was soon Leinster’s turn to threaten, this time from counter-attack as Ryan’s beautifully timed pass sent Max Deegan scampering away down the left. The number eight’s attempted one-two with left wing Hugo Keenan was just too high and hot for Deegan, leaving the home side 7-3 ahead at the halfway point. 

The next score really would be important. Munster’s set plays were causing problems and wing White popped up just outside his ten Downes to make an incision. Flanker Daniel Walsh was twice involved as they hurtled through the phases. The danger heightened until Leinster wing Matthew Byrne stepped in to snap up the ball and rifle it upfield.

It was the sniff Leinster needed, fly-half O’Brien’s grubber turning Munster’s defence to force a lineout which Deegan sharply turned into five points from close range with Hughes stitching on the conversion for 14-3 in the 47th minute.

It wasn’t long before Leinster were winning style marks for the way O’Brien put Byrne flying into enemy territory and sharp, accurate passes enabled Keenan to make 20 metres. Still, no points accrued.

The margins for error for Munster were growing finer as the minutes moved by. Number eight Brown continued to carry with intensity and the rest of the pack was not slow to come with him. They had to play high risk.
Leinster held their ground and made enough of it for Deegan to be within one reach of his second try. He showed composure to protect the ball and replacement tight-head Eoin O’Neill benefitted with a try from his first touch of the ball in the 65th minute to seal the issue, but not the scoring.

The men from the south went back to a tried and tested maul for metres and it worked a treat. They got close enough to suck in defenders and replacement hooker Vincent O’Brien was on hand to burrow under bodies for a try, converted by Downes in the 70th minute.

15. Alan Hughes (Clongowes Wood College S.J.)
14. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College) / Jake Howlett (Newbridge College) 65 mins.
13. Con Callan (St. Gerard’s School)
12. Matthew Gilsenan (St. Michael’s College)
11. Hugo Keenan (Blackrock College)
10. Jimmy O’Brien (Newbridge College) / David Poff (Wesley College) 60 mins.
9. Nick Peters (Gonzaga College S.J.) / Andrew Feeney (Suttonians RFC) 53 mins.

1. Vakh Abdaladze (Coolmine RFC) / Eoghan Byrne (Gonzaga College S.J.) 66 mins.
2. John Molony (Clongowes Wood College S.J.) / Hugo Kean (Blackrock College) 53 mins.
3. Adam Coyle (Naas RFC) / Eoin O’Neill (St. Michael’s College) 61 mins.
4. Michael Melia (Terenure College)
5. James Ryan (St. Michael’s College) CAPTAIN
6. Will Connors (Clongowes Wood College S.J.) / Jack O’Sullivan (Castleknock College) 66 mins.
7. David Aspil (The High School) / Matthew Bursey (The King’s Hospital) 53 mins.
8. Max Deegan (St. Michael’s College)

Leinster U19s (M Deegan, C Callan, E O’Neill try each; A Hughes 2 cons); Munster U 19s (V O’Brien try; P Downes pen, con).

15. James O’Connor (Tralee RFC) / Gary O’Sullivan (Crescent College Comprehensive) 68 mins.
14. Brian Fanning (Bruff RFC)
13. Tim Cronin (Bantry Bay RFC) / Paul O’Keefe (Kanturk RFC) 55 mins.
12. Rory Horgan (Rockwell College) CAPTAIN
11. Joe White (Clonakility RFC)
10. Paul Downes (Bruff RFC)
9. John Poland (Presentation Brothers College) / Rory Cunningham (Old Crescent RFC) 68 mins.

1. Philip Poilet (UL Bohemian RFC) / Peter Meyer (St. Munchins College) 68 mins.
2. Shane Felton (Ard Scoil Ris) / Vincent O’ Brien (Christian Brothers College) 55 mins.
3. Ben Betts (Young Munster RFC) / David Jennings (Clonaklity RFC) 69 mins.
4. Josh Barnes (Tralee RFC) / Patrick Staff (Young Munster RFC) 55 mins.
5. Sean O’Connor (Rockwell College)
6. Ronan Murphy (Castletroy College)
7. Daniel Walsh (Christian Brothers College)
8. Kelvin Brown (Shannon RFC) / Stephen Hickey (Cobh Pirates RFC) 66 mins.

Referee: O Quinn, IRFU.