U18 Clubs kick-off interpros in Donnybrook
September 1, 2016 12:00 am client
The Leinster U18 Clubs, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, play Connacht this weekend in Donnybrook Stadium in their second round of their Interprovincial Series, KO 13.00.
With 14 clubs throughout the province represented on the team, all members and supporters are urged to get down to Donnybrook to support the team this Saturday.
The U18 Clubs were given a sharp reminder of the standards they have to reach in being well-beaten by The Exiles last week in what amounted to their last action before the onset of the Interprovincial Championship.
The Clubs began the season with three 20 minute segments against Leinster Schools as a fact finding mission, more than anything else.
This was followed by a valuable exercise at home to a big, physical Northampton in which Leinster fell to a 15-10 defeat. The customary width was difficult to find with front-foot ball at a premium. The longer the game went on, the better Leinster became and there were openings to pinch a victory near the end that could not be closed out.
Those first two steps in the season were marked by improvement to leave coach Dan van Zyl’s squad in a positive frame of mind before ‘the fifth province’ came to Dublin town last week.
Leinster were rocked by nineteen unanswered points as The Exiles poured forward. Outside centre Kieran Dunne caused havoc with the first two tries and midfield Cillian McGann added the third. From there, the home side clawed their way back into the game as their forwards got down to work and the backs increased their intensity in the tackle to make it 29-14 by the final whistle.
“We weren’t happy from players to coaches to managers,” said Team Manager Louis Magee.
“What we’re looking for is more urgency from the players, more positivity. This is actually a talented group. They have trained together, worked hard together. It is just a matter of putting that practice out on the pitch.”
“Now, we were far better for a 10-15 period of the second-half against The Exiles. The game was definitely there to be won when we closed to within five points (19-14) around the 45th minute. The results haven’t been all that great, so far. But, the guys are always learning and they are getting better. It is a matter of translating that to where it matters most.”
Props Conan Dunne (Kilkenny) and Daragh Bolger (Clontarf) are back from last year to lend their experience for what to expect. Brian Deaney will be back in the second row. But, the Wexford Wanderer is not likely to make the opening round against Connacht on Saturday.
The willingness of Leinster to stand up and fight will be led by captain Joey Sparza, flanker Dan Egan, hooker Declan Adamson and number eight Martin Maloney.
In behind, there will be the opportunity for centres Jordan Fitzpatrick, their goal-kicker, and Cillian Redmond to make a better impression.
The Westerners met The Exiles last Monday week in what should be a fair barometer of what Leinster will come up against at Donnybrook. They came out the right side of it 25-15 with their tries coming from Aaron Martyn, Liam Winnett, Colm Reilly and Hugh Lane.
Munster had the benefit of Paul O’Connell’s expertise in his new Academy Advisory role during a three-week camp at Rockwell College last month.
Ulster have been a work in progress at this level and greater resources have led to a steady improvement in their Clubs.
It is anyone’s guess how they will fare on the opening weekend. This picture will become a lot clearer when Leinster have to travel to Thomond Park for round two on Saturday week.
Leinster U18 Clubs, Interprovincial Series fixtures 2016
Sept 3 (Saturday): Leinster U18 Clubs v Connacht, Donnybrook, Time 13.00
Sept 10 (Saturday): Munster v Leinster U18 Clubs, Thomond Park, Time 14.30
Sept 17 (Saturday): Leinster U18 Clubs v Ulster, Donnybrook, Time 13.00
Leinster U18 Clubs, sponsored by Bank of Ireland
15. Cormac Timoney (Navan RFC)
14. Daragh Kelly (Suttonians RFC)
13. Cillian Redmond (Tullow RFC)
12. Frankie O’Dea (Clontarf FC)
11. Morgan Purcell (New Ross RFC)
10. Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
9. Gareth Fitzgerald (Tullow RFC)
1. Daragh Bolger (Clontarf FC)
2. Aleksa Mitic (Mullingar RFC)
3. Conan Dunne (Kilkenny RFC)
4. Joey Sparza (Ashbourne RFC)
5. Conor Moore (Carlow FC)
6. William Ashmore (Mullingar RFC)
7. Luke Thompson (Wicklow RFC)
8. Martin Maloney (Athy RFC) Captain
16. Declan Adamson (Clontarf FC)
17. Aziz Naser (Suttonians RFC)
18. Charlie Ward (Tullow RFC)
19. Charlie Quirke (Seapoint RFC)
20. Darragh Murphy (Tullow RFC)
21. Jordan Fitzpatrick (Portarlington RFC)
22. Mark O’Sullivan (Clontarf RFC)
23. Sebastian Pimm (Enniscorthy RFC)
Connacht U18 Clubs
15. Hugh Lane (Galwegians RFC) Vice Captain
14. Michael Hanley (Buccaneers RFC)
13. Harry Donnelly (Corinthians RFC)
12. Craig McCormick (Ballina RFC)
11. Saul O’Carroll (Garbally RFC)
10. Dylan Prendergast (Westport RFC)
9. Colm Reilly (Ballinasloe RFC)
1. Ronan Corless (Galwegians RFC)
2. Danny Arnold (Creggs RFC)
3. Brian Boland (Ballina RFC)
4. Christian Nielson (Sligo RFC)
5. Niall Murray (Buccaneers RFC)
6. Cian Huxford (Corinthians) Captain
7. Dylan Tierney-Martin (Corinthians RFC) Vice Captain
8. Pat Howley (Ballina RFC)
16. James Kelly (Buccaneers RFC)
17. Morgan O’Brien (Corinthians RFC)
18. Lorcan Roche (Corinthians RFC)
19. Liam Winnett (Buccaneers RFC)
20. Michael O’Donnell (Galwegians RFC)
21. Rob Hennessy (Galwegians RFC)
22. Diarmuid Codyre (Galwegians RFC)
23. Gary Collumb (Corinthians RFC)
24. Maitias O’Gríofa (Corinthians RFC)
25. Eoghan Coyle (Creggs RFC)