Match Report: Leinster Rugby 47 Coventry Rugby 17
August 17, 2019 / client
Leinster Rugby provided plenty of fun in the sun to keep supporters entertained in the Bank of Ireland Pre-season Friendly against guests Coventry Rugby at Energia Park on Saturday afternoon.
The home side started brightly with Harry Byrne and Conor O’Brien probing out wide and Rowan Osborne dealing comfortably with a tricky kick out of defence.
Cian Kelleher settled in with a number of early touches, while Gavin Mullin and Barry Daly worked an opening down the left.
The intent was there and so too were the big hits, Coventry number eight Senitiki Nayalo lining up Peter Dooley from a long way off with a reminder that Leinster would have to earn their metres.
Scrum-half Osborne looked to have secured a debut try only for the play to be called back for obstruction.
It wasn’t long before left-wing Daly was scything through the middle without enough support, the honour of the opening try falling to Vakh Abdaladze from close range in the 16th minute.
An explosive Rónan Kelleher charge had Leinster back on the attack until a stray pass was picked off by scrum-half Will Flinn for a counter that needed Daly’s diving tackle to prevent further damage.
The general flow of traffic was of the one-way variety and Josh Murphy punched in five points by impressively carrying through contact, Harry Byrne converting in the 22nd minute.
Leinster were back again for their third when Harry Byrne’s quick hands sent Adam Byrne to the line.
Matters didn’t improve for Coventry when Gareth Denman was shown a yellow card.
Soon after, Harry Byrne came off his left foot to take advantage of a thin defensive line for a fourth seven-pointer in the 33rd minute.
Second row Murphy nabbed his third lineout against the throw for Leinster to move upfield, Abdaladze following up after Leinster gobbled up some hard-earned metres to grab his second try for Byrne’s fifth conversion.
Before half-time, Coventry full-back James Stokes sprinted to the sticks for fly-half Will Maisey’s conversion to make it 35-7 at the break.
There were eight changes made to the home side at the interval, one of them Max Deegan barrelling over for Byrne to add two in the 43rd minute.
The visitors struck back in fine fashion from a sweet raid down the right for Junior Bulumakau to find the corner in the 49th minute.
They were not content to sit on this, centre Dan Lewis taking off up the left to hold off the closing Cian Kelleher for a second try in three minutes.
The English championship club grew into it, even taking over territorially for a period, ahead of a patient drive by Leinster for replacement Ronan Watters to pinch the seventh try in the 75th minute.