Leinster deliver on potential to claim title with ease
SCHOOLS’ RUGBY UNDER-18 INTERPROVINCIAL/ Leinster 61 Connacht 3:COACH NOEL McNamara’s Leinster delivered on the well-held opinion that this is the best side the province has put together at this level when they did to Connacht what they also did to Ulster and Munster to wrap up the Under-18 Schools’ Interprovincial Championship at Donnybrook.
The precision, decision-making and cohesion between backs and forwards was total as they hit Connacht for nine tries, with fullback Billy Dardis and lock Rory Moloney both striking for hat-tricks as Connacht’s only impact came from centre Dwayne Corcoran’s early penalty. It was, perhaps, apt that these two should be on the end of so much because, so often, they were also at the start, Moloney as an athletic lock with pace, athleticism and know-how, and Dardis with the kind of feet a dancer would kill for.
There is so much more to this collection, from outhalf Ross Byrne’s eight out of nine shots at goal, a bruising centre partnership between Harrison Brewer and Fergal Cleary, pace to burn on the outside in behind a powerful front eight anchored by Nick Timoney at the base.
SCORERS: Leinster 61 (R Moloney, B Dardis 3 tries each; F Cleary, N Timoney, P Thornton try each; R Byrne 8 cons); Connacht 3 (D Corcoran pen).
LEINSTER: B Dardis (Terenure); A Leavy (St Michael’s), F Cleary (Clongowes Wood), H Brewer (Terenure), J McCormack (Castleknock); R Byrne (St Michaels), N McCarthy (St Michaels, capt); E O’Sullivan (Templeogue), A Roche (Terenure), O Heffernan (Cistercian Roscrea), J Ryan (St Michael’s), R Moloney (Cistercian Roscrea), J Murphy (St Michaels), P Thornton (Terenure), N Timoney (Blackrock). Replacements: A Penny (St Michael’s) for Thornton (57 mins); T Schmidt (Terenure) for McCarthy (both 58 mins); G Reynolds (King’s Hospital) for Roche, N Mpiko (King’s Hospital) for O’Sullivan, H O’Donnell (Newbridge) for Heffernan (all 61 mins); C O’Donoghue (Clongowes Wood) for McCormack (64 mins); M Courtney (CBC Monkstown) for Brewer (65 mins).
CONNACHT: S Doyle, B Gilligan, S Dempsey (all Marist), D Corcoran (Cistercian Roscrea), P Glavey (McHale, Achill); C Keane (Pres, Headford), J Mitchell (St Jospeh’s, Galway); C Kyne (Coláiste Mhuire, Spiddal), C Gavin (Cistercian, Roscrea), F Murphy (St Gerald’s, Castlebar), F Tully (St Muredach’s, Ballina), R Murphy (Balla School), M Kelly (Cistercian, Roscrea), D Maher (Athenry VS), J Codyre (Garbally). Replacements: C Laheen (Holy Rosary, Mountbellew) for F Murphy (26 mins); C Hansbury (St Calasanctus, Oranmore) for Laheen, F Stoneman (Coláiste Einde, Galway) for Corcoran (both h-t); C Evans (St Joseph’s, Galway) for Dempsey (45 mins); P O’Toole (Sancta Maria, Louisburgh) for Gavin, E Galvin (Marist) for Codyre, M Greene (Sligo Grammar) for Keane (all 52 mins).
Referee: B O’Connell, IRFU.