Match Report: Leinster Women defeat Connacht to win Interprovincial Championship
September 21, 2019 / client
Leinster Rugby made it back-to-back Women’s Interprovincial Championship titles with a win over Connacht in an action-packed final at Energia Park on Saturday evening.
Ben Armstrong’s side ended this year’s championship with five wins from all five of their games, completing their run with a hard-fought win in the driving rain in Donnybrook.
First-half tries from Lindsay Peat, Elise O’Byrne-White and Grace Miller set them on their way before a second-half fightback from Connacht led by Edel McMahon and Beibhinn Parsons.
Leinster responded with a fine break from Sene Naoupu and some great supporting runs from Megan Williams and Hannah O’Connor saw the latter go over to make sure of the win.
Connacht dominated possession in the opening five minutes but found it difficult to make much headway into the Leinster half.
When they turned the ball over in Leinster territory, out-half Larissa Muldoon put in an inch-perfect clearance that found touch at the opposition 22.
A Connacht knock-on at the lineout gave Leinster the platform to build their first attack in Connacht territory.
The ball was moved to the lefthand side where Peat was on hand to power over from five metres out.
The former Dublin footballer was central to the game’s next score when her break brought Leinster up to the Connacht 22.
With the Connacht defence scrambling, the ball was played to Elise O’Byrne-White on the right wing to run it in for Leinster’s second.
Naoupu was leading from the front with a number of well-timed tackles halting any Connacht momentum.
A break from O’Connor and strong carries from Peat and Juliet Short brought Leinster into Connacht territory but a knock-on gave the western province a scrum on their own 22.
Connacht looked to run it out but Jeamie Deacon intercepted a pass, Leinster moved the ball left and Miller was on hand to score their third try of the half just past the 20-minute mark.
Muldoon was on hand again to find touch in Connacht territory and Naoupu forced a knock-on with another big tackle.
Peat looked to be in again with a break from halfway but her chip ahead was recovered by the Connacht defence.
Connacht started the second half brightly with Parsons recovering a kick ahead but her offload was knocked on.
Soon after they were over for their first try when Edel McMahon finished under the posts after an extended spell in the Leinster 22. The conversion narrowed the margin to eight.
Nicole Fowley provided the assist for Connacht’s second when her pass out wide to Parsons sent the young winger over following a Connacht lineout inside the Leinster 22.
Leinster needed to respond and did when O’Connor made a smart break, releasing Judy Bobbett who found Naoupu, but the ball was knocked on as it was being spread right.
Leinster came again, this time it was Naoupu who charged into space from inside her own half. Her pass found Williams who sent O’Connor over for Leinster’s fourth.
When Short was taken in the air at a lineout Leinster went for touch at the Connacht five-metre line. They secured the lineout and Judy Bobbett crashed over to apply the finishing touch as Leinster completed the defence of their Interprovincial Championship title.