There was a fast start to this one as Leinster went to work on their tempo and The Exiles, on foot of three victories, set about thwarting them.

They weren’t restricted to back-foot business either as their full-back Aaron O’Sullivan immediately began to beat players.

There was a need for calm, composure as all handlers seemed in too much of a hurry to make a difference, leading to penalties from over-eager defence and fumbled balls.

It took decisive defence from Leinster left wing Sean Wafer to stop centre Hayden Hyde before slick handling, involving tight-head Paddy Harris and O’Sullivan, put wing Rhys Henderson over on the left in the 11th minute.

The home side were quick to offer an impressive maul and centre Luis Faria excelled on a break against the grain.

They were on the move again when wing Henderson stepped up to intercept and O’Sullivan caused problems on the ball.

It took a fine poach by Leinster lock Sam Porter to prevent further damage, coughing up a penalty as opposed to points.

From a five-metre lineout, The Exiles second row Darragh Gleeson gathered in the air and flanker Chris Moore was on hand to ground from a powerful maul, scrum-half Caolan Englefield’s conversion making it 12-0 in the 18th minute.

The leaping catch of flanker Brian Deeney put Leinster in position and their pressure caused a penalty which scrum-half Shane Murphy could not slot.

The Exiles wasted no time in moving into fifth gear, Henderson’s unorthodox ball-to-knee forcing wing Wafer into emergency action.

Then, O’Sullivan was denied a try by out-half Paddy McKenzie’s textbook tackle.

Good work from the forwards Fion Gilbert and Marcus Hannon sucked in defenders and Leinster wing Wafer went outside Henderson for a gain of 50 metres.

Captain Luke Thompson was doing all he could to take Leinster over the gain line and Gilbert shot through a hole for another bright moment without the clinical edge to make it tell.

The good news was Leinster were beginning to win the battle for territory. They needed some reward on the scoreboard. But, they couldn’t find it by the close of the first-half.

The next score would be important and locks Darragh Gleeson and Lewis Saliba made the difference, the latter spinning to the whitewash for Englefield to convert for 19-0 in the 40th minute.

Leinster almost struck back from number eight Tadgh Butler’s break, Brian Deeney’s support line and Luis Faria’s drive for the line.

They didn’t stop there, Fion Gilbert carrying straight and Butler being held up.

From the subsequent five-metre scrum, Karl Martin’s angled aggression wrongfooted The Exiles for Murphy to convert for 19-7 in the 43rd minute.

The outstanding Thompson tore through the first line of defence only for Englefield to see yellow for a high tackle.

This was an invitation Leinster quickly took up as they went to the tap-and-go for a gain of yards and hooker Barry Ryan crashed over to the right for Murphy to narrow the gap to five points.

The prospect of a comeback was growing until Henderson broke away down the right for his second try in the 56th minute.

Still, it wasn’t over by a long shot as Leinster centre Martin burst through the middle and offloaded smartly to hooker Ryan.

They had the control to work the phases for replacement Thomas Jones to barge over on the right to put the game back in the melting pot.

Not for long, the heavier Exiles forwards created the dents for replacement Rory Carroll to clinch the contest, even though centre Faria had the final say for Leinster’s fourth try.

At Donnybrook – LEINSTER U18 CLUBS 24 (K Martin, B Ryan, T Jones, L Faria try each; S Murphy 2 cons); THE EXILES 29 (R Henderson 2 tries; C Moore, R Carroll, L Saliba try each; C Englefield 2 cons)

Leinster U18 Clubs

15. Cathal Farrell (Tullamore) / Mike McGiff (Clontarf) ht
14. Josh O’Connor (Wexford) / Thomas Jones (North Kildare) 22 mins
13. Luis Faria (Wanderers)
12. Karl Martin (Boyne)
11. Sean Wafer (Gorey)
10. Paddy McKenzie (Wicklow)
9. Shane Murphy (Skerries) / Fiachra Hourlehan (Enniscorthy) 61 mins
1. Marcus Hannon (Clane) / Sean O’Rourke (Athy) 67 mins
2. Barry Ryan (Wexford) / Mark Nicholson (Wicklow) 61 mins
3. Charlie Ward (Tullow) / Jordan Kelly (Enniscorthy) 66 mins
4. Fion Gilbert (Clontarf)
5. Sam Porter (Wicklow) / Rob Murphy (Gorey) 53 mins
6. Brian Deeney (Wexford)
7. Luke Thompson (Wicklow) CAPTAIN
8. Tadgh Butler (Kilkenny)

The Exiles

15. Aaron O’Sullivan
14. Ciaran Gaffney / Jacob Whelan 51 mins
13. Hayden Hyde
12. Ciaran McGann / Rory Carroll ht
11. Rhys Henderson
10. Michael Cooke / Jamie Fulcher 37 mins
9. Caolan Englefield
1. Rory Holland / Mattias Ellaby 23 mins
2. David Good / Conor Wordley ht
3. Paddy Harris / Oisin Kearney 29 mins
4. Darragh Gleeson
5. Lewis Seliba
6. Chris Moore / Max Lowdell 30 mins
7. Connor Beer / Fionan Dunne 46 mins
8. Joshua Dunne

Referee: David Horner, IRFU