Match Report – Leinster Rugby ‘A’ 28 Ulster Rugby ‘A’ 12
September 16, 2022 7:14 pm Des Berry
Leinster recovered from a slow start to overcome Ulster four tries-to-two in a competitive A Interprovincial at balmy Templeville Road on Friday evening.
Ulster was first to move through the gears, twice opting for the corner instead of a shot at the posts in what was a taste of things to come.
The second surge paid dividends when thrower James McCormick got around in support of the pack to ground the ball in the fourth minute.
The Leinster scrum sent an ominous message to put the home side in the right position to strike.
A dangerous attack was oiled by Chris Cosgrave’s pass and Craig Adams’ finish in the left corner which Matthew Lynch nailed for 7-5 in the 12th minute.
A slip in concentration allowed Leinster to counter up the left. It meant Ulster centre Ross Taylor had to nail James Culhane in the tackle and Jake Flannery angled the ball inside the Leinster 22.
But, Hugh Cooney’s long left-footed ball created enough uncertainty for the Blues to roll forward, Cormac Daly picking up the try from close range, Lynch’s extras taking it to 14-5 in the 22nd minute.
Swift work by James Girvan on the floor allowed Flannery’s penalty to look to the lineout again until Tadgh McElroy pinched the ball at the tail.
Leinster’s scrum dominance backed up by sweet passing across the line stressed Ulster, Rory Telfer’s intervention preventing further damage.
Jack Boyle’s ability to muscle through the first line of defence and throw a sympathetic offload was impressive.
The impact of wing Adams in midfield and the support play by Liam Molony was remedied by Ulster’s vigilance in defence as the half-time whistle sounded.
The flow was not quite there, Ben Murphy putting Cosgrave into space which was quickly closed down by Rob Lyttle.
Once again, Leinster’s scrum engineered penalties to undo much of Ulster’s approach play.
Still, the Blues were not able to put the finishing touch to the superior attack until Daniel Leane took Sean O’Brien’s pass off the ground for a fine try, converted by Charlie Tector for 21-5 in the 57th minute.
In truth, there was something of a stalemate for a stretch, neither side capable of stringing together a clinical attack as defences ruled.
Then, Henry McErlean took the eye in cutting loose up the right and slipping the ball to Cosgrave for the fourth try, Tector adding the conversion in the 71st minute.
The All Whites were not inclined to accept their fate, battling against an insurmountable deficit all the way to the finish whre a powerful maul provided the platform for Zac Solomon to touch down and for Conor McKee to convert.
Scorers – Leinster Rugby ‘A’: D Leane, C Daly, C Adams, C Cosgrave try each; M Lynch, C Tector 2 cons each. Ulster Rugby ‘A’: J McCormick, Z Solomon try each; C McKee con.
15. Andrew Osborne (Henry McErlean 62 mins), 14. Craig Adams, 13. Hugh Cooney (David Dooley 62 mins), 12. Ben Brownlee (Jed Tormey 68 mins), 11. Chris Cosgrave, 10. Matthew Lynch (Charlie Tector 50 mins), 9. Ben Murphy (Michael Moloney 62 mins), 1. Jack Boyle (George Hadden 66 mins), 2. Tadgh McElroy (Gus McCarthy 16 mins), 3. Temi Lasisi (Ben Griffin 51 mins), 4. Cormac Daly, 5. Daniel Leane (James O’Loughlin 73 mins), 6. James Culhane, 7. Liam Molony (Josh O’Hare 68 mins), 8. Seán O’Brien (Capt).
15. Shea O’Brien, 14. Rory Telfer, 13. James Girvan, 12. Ross Taylor (Henry Boyle 51 mins), 11. Rob Lyttle (Sam Cunningham 64 mins), 10. Jake Flannery (Zach Quirke HT), 9. Michael McDonald (Conor McKee HT), 1. George Saunderson, 2. James McCormick (Zac Solomon 62 mins), 3. Cameron Doak (Joe Mawhinney 22 mins / Jack Boal 57 mins), 4. Joe Hopes (Jamie McCartney 51 mins), 5. Charlie Irvine (Paddy Browne 47 mins), 6. Harry Sheridan (Capt), 7. Lorcan McLaughlin, 8. James McNabney.