Match report: Ulster Rugby 0 Leinster Rugby 43
Match report: Ulster Rugby 0 Leinster Rugby 43
January 21, 2023 / Daire Walsh
Co-captain Hannah O’Connor helped herself to a hat-trick of tries at Queen’s University on Saturday evening as Leinster signed off on their Women’s Interprovincial Championship campaign with an emphatic triumph over Ulster.
Emma Hooban, Molly Scuffil-McCabe, Ella Roberts and replacement Niamh Byrne also crossed the whitewash as Leinster claimed their second bonus point win of the Interpro series in style. While Munster ultimately came away with the top prize in the tournament for a second season running, Leinster head coach Tania Rosser will nonetheless take many positives from the performances of her troops over the past few weeks.
There were just under eight minutes gone on the clock when Leinster broke the resistance of the home province – Ireland international Hooban powering over the line following an extended spell of attacking pressure. Dannah O’Brien was on hand to supply the bonuses and give the Blues an early seven-point stranglehold on the proceedings.
O’Brien was also making an impact in general play and she released O’Connor through a defensive gap for her first try of the action on 17 minutes. After Carlow native O’Brien comfortably added the extras to this score, O’Connor turned provider for Leinster’s next finish just past the first-quarter mark.
Off an attacking scrum, O’Brien picked up possession and passed out wide for Scuffil-McCabe to register an unconverted effort in the right-corner. The roles were reversed for Leinster’s next try on 28 minutes as scrum-half Scuffil-McCabe delivered a neat ball for O’Connor to dot down for the second time in the opening period.
One of the most consistent Irish performers across the club, provincial and international codes, O’Connor was taking this game by the scruff of the neck. O’Brien followed with her third conversion, but most crucially Leinster were guaranteed to come away with a try bonus at the very least.
This also left Leinster with a commanding 26-0 interval buffer, but Rosser’s charges were in no mood to rest on their laurels after the resumption. Despite some strong defence from Ulster, O’Connor enhanced her already impressive personal haul with a third magnificent try on 53 minutes.
Leinster’s relentless pursuit of scores continued into the final-quarter and they once again broke through the Ulster rearguard with 15 minutes remaining on the clock. Following excellent approach work from O’Connor and Jenny Murphy, full-back Ella Roberts sprinted over the opposition line on the right-wing.
As the play progressed, Leinster’s replacements were afforded an opportunity to showcase their skills in the Belfast venue. Railway Union skipper Niamh Byrne was one of these players and she was set free by Aoife Dalton for an excellent individual try on the stroke of 70 minutes.
To their credit, Ulster persevered with their challenge and kept Leinster on the back-foot as the final whistle approached. Yet there was plenty of defensive solidity to compliment the strong attacking showing delivered by the eastern province and the visitors dug deep to leave the final margin at 43 points.
LEINSTER – H O’Connor 3 tries; E Hooban, M Scuffil-McCabe, E Roberts, N Byrne try each; D O’Brien 4 conversions.
15. Maeve Liston
14. Lucy Thompson / Fern Wilson half-time
13. Emma Jordan
12. Kelly McCormill
11. Niamh Marley
10. Ella Durkan
9. Rachael McIlroy / Hannah Downey 68 mins
1. Sadhbh McGrath / Gemma McCamley 27 mins / lse van Staden 60 mins
2. Megan Simpson
3. Ilse van Staden / Aishling O’Connell 27 mins / Sadhbh McGrath 63-71 mins
4. Keelin Brady / Hannah Beattie 63 mins
5. Brenda Barr / Helen McGhee half-time
6. India Daley / Stacey Sloan 51 mins
7. Beth Cregan
8. Sophie Barrett / Fiona Tuite half-time
15. Ella Roberts (Wicklow RFC)
14. Elise O’Byrne-White (Old Belvedere RFC) / Niamh Byrne (Railway Union RFC) 57 mins
13. Aoife Dalton (Tullamore RFC/Old Belvedere RFC)
12. Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere RFC)
11. Anna Doyle (Tullow RFC/Blackrock College RFC) / Dannah O’Brien (Tullow RFC/Old Belvedere RFC) 75 mins
10. Dannah O’Brien (Tullow RFC/Old Belvedere RFC) / Lisa Mullen (Virginia RFC/Blackrock RFC) 57 mins
9. Molly Scuffil-McCabe (Garda Westmanstown RFC/Railway Union RFC) / Katie Whelan (Old Belvedere RFC) 47 mins
1. Aoife Moore (Blackrock College RFC) / Emma Murphy (Railway Union RFC) 47 mins
2. Emma Hooban (Blackrock RFC) / Lisa Callan (Railway Union RFC) 64 mins
3. Christy Haney (St Mary’s College RFC/Blackrock RFC, CO-CAPTAIN) / Megan Collis (Greystones RFC/Railway Union RFC) 64 mins
4. Aoife McDermott (Railway Union RFC)
5. Elaine Anthony (Old Belvedere RFC) / Eimear Corri (Portlaoise RFC/Blackrock RFC) 53 mins
6. Niamh O’Dowd (Old Belvedere RFC) / Vic O’Mahony (Old Belvedere RFC) 69 mins
7. Molly Boyne (DUFC/Railway Union RFC)
8. Hannah O’Connor (CYM RFC/Blackrock College RFC, CO-CAPTAIN)