A youthful Leinster ‘A’ team suffered a 24-17 defeat to Munster ‘A’ in their highly competitive interprovincial fixture played at the University of Limerick this afternoon…

Both provinces bagged two tries each, with backs Andrew Conway and Cathal Marsh touching down for the Leinster ‘A’ side.

However, three penalty goals from the boot of Munster ‘A’ out-half JJ Hanrahan proved the main difference between the teams in an entertaining tie played out before an estimated 2,000 spectators.

South African second row Quinn Roux made a successful comeback from injury, playing for an hour in his first appearance in Leinster colours since November.

The high-paced nature of the game was an ideal preparation for the Leinster ‘A’ squad ahead of their British & Irish Cup showdown with Bristol on Sunday, April 7.

Munster ‘A’, who included the fit-again Paul O’Connell in their second row, went in front in the eighth minute thanks to a penalty goal from the boot of Hanrahan.

Their lead did not last long, however, as some quick hands in midfield created the opening for Leinster ‘A’ full-back Conway to sprint clear of the defence and race away to the line. Centre Noel Reid duly added the extras.

The home side got their noses in front in the 32nd minute when Hanrahan landed his third penalty from close to the left touchline.

Munster ‘A’ led 9-7 at the break and went further ahead in the 42nd minute when winger Ronan O’Mahony scored a fine try in the right corner. Hanrahan’s conversion gave his side a sizeable 16-7 lead.

To their credit, the youthful Leinster ‘A’ outfit responded in fine style and out-half Marsh sprinted clear up the right touchline before dotting down in the 46th minute. Reid’s conversion reduced the arrears to 16-14.

Munster ‘A’ regained control five minutes later, however, when Ivan Dineen broke up the middle of the pitch. Following a quick recycle, his centre partner Danny Barnes touched down in the left corner.

Girvan Dempsey’s men had a one-man advantage on the hour mark when Munster ‘A’ replacement Scott Deasy was yellow carded. Reid landed a penalty goal from in front of the posts to leave four points between the sides, 21-17.

Leinster ‘A’, who had emptied the replacements bench on the hour mark, were unable to make the most of the sin-binning and a late drop goal from the returning Deasy steered Munster ‘A’ to a seven-point victory.

MUNSTER ‘A’ SCORERS: R. O’Mahony (1 try), D. Barnes (1 try), JJ Hanrahan (1 conversion and 3 penalties), S. Deasy (1 drop goal)

LEINSTER ‘A’ SCORERS: A. Conway (1 try), C. Marsh (1 try), N. Reid (2 conversions and 1 penalty)

MUNSTER ‘A’: J Murphy; L O’Dea, D Barnes, I Dineen, R O’Mahony; JJ Hanrahan, C Sheridan CAPTAIN; J Cronin, S Henry, J Ryan, D Foley, P O’Connell, N Ronan, S Dougall, CJ Stander.

REPLACEMENTS: M Horan, D Casey, N Scannell, K Griffin, B Hayes, Dave O’Callaghan, B Slater, S Deasy, C Bohane, C Hircock, S Scanlon, J Holland.


15: Andrew Conway
14: Andrew Boyle (Fionn Carr, 65)
13: Jordan Coghlan (Darragh Fanning, 54)
12: Noel Reid
11: Sam Coghlan Murray
10: Cathal Marsh
9: John Cooney (Paddy O’Driscoll, 71)

1: Jack O’Connell (Jack McGrath, 62)
2: Aaron Dundon CAPTAIN (James Tracy, 62)
3: Martin Moore (Tadhg Furlong, 68)
4: Mark Flanagan
5: Quinn Roux (Dan Leavy, 60)
6: Ben Marshall
7: Conor Gilsenan
8: Leo Auva’a (Tadhg Beirne, 68)

REFEREE: Kieran Barry (IRFU)