Leinster outmuscled by Saints in Donnybrook

Pre-season friendly lacked continuity and cohesion amid slew of changes from both sides

Leinster’s Jordi Murphy and Tom Denton tackle Alex Corbisiero of Northampton in Donntbrook.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Leinster’s Jordi Murphy and Tom Denton tackle Alex Corbisiero of Northampton in Donntbrook. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

Leinster 13 Northampton Saints 21: Northampton Saints’ superior exposure told as they wore down a callow Leinster side in a pre-season friendly in Donnybrook on Friday evening.

The homeside led 8-5 at the interval through a try from tighthead prop Martin Moore - Saints tighthead Gareth Denman was their try scorer in that 40 minutes, a nice piece of symmetry - while the excellent Jimmy Gopperth kicked a penalty.

Leinster managed a couple of line breaks while the visitors relied more on bully beef to punch holes. Jack McGrath had a fine half before being replaced, so too the starting wings, Darragh Fanning and Sam Coghlan Murray, while Darren Hudson intervened positively on a couple of occasions.

With over 60 players used between the two sides - some Leinster players had no numbers, some Saints wore the same number as the players they replaced - cohesion and continuity suffered.

Northampton responded with a try from Samu Manoa after the interval.

Stephen Meyler converted, tagged on a penalty, before his replacement Sam Oliver tagged on a brace.

At 21-8 the Saints were out of sight but a superb break by David Kearney and a couple of powerful carries from fellow replacement Tadhg Furlong paved the way for a try from Dan Leavy.

It sent the home supporters away with a smile.

Scoring sequence

5 mins: Moore try, 5-0; 18: Denman try, 5-5; 21: Gopperth penalty, 8-5; 49: Manoa try, Meyler conversion, 8-12; 57: Meyler penalty, 8-15;

65: Oliver penalty, 8-18; 75: Oliver penalty, 8-21; 78: Leavy try, 13-21.

Leinster: D Hudson; D Fanning, B Macken, N Reid, S Coghlan-Murray; J Gopperth, L McGrath; J McGrath, A Dundon, M Moore; Q Roux, T Denton; R Ruddock, S Jennings (capt), J Murphy. Replacements: S Cronin for Dundon (h-time); E Reddan for L McGrath (h-time); D Kearney for Hudson (h-time); L Auva’a for Ruddock (h-time); B Marshall for Denton (h-time); C O’Shea for Macken 46 mins; D Ryan for Murphy 51 mins; Hudson for Fanning 51 mins; T Daly for Reid 51 mins; J O’Connell for J McGrath 51 mins; D Leavy for Jennings 57 mins; T Furlong for Moore 62 mins; C Marsh for Gopperth 62 mins; A Byrne for Coghlan-Murray 66 mins; T Beirne for Roux 66 mins; B Dardis for Hudson 73 mins; J Tracey for Cronin 76 mins.

Northampton Saints: J Wilson; K Pisi, G Pisi, L Burrell, G North; S Myler, L Dickson; A Corbisiero, R McMillan, T Mercey; C Lawes, S Manoa; C Clark, P Dowson (capt), S Dickinson. Replacements: C Day for Dickinson (h-time); M Haywood (h-time) for R McMillan; T Stephenson for G Pisi 44 mins; P Diggin for Burrell 47 mins; A Waller for Corbisiero 47 mins; T Mercey for Denman (H-time), J Elliott for North 51 mins, T Wood for Clark 51 mins; GJ van Velze for Manoa 51 mins; S Oliver for Meyler 60 mins; J Craig for Lawes 60 mins; V Artemyez for K Pisi 63 mins; R Glynn for Dickson 64 mins.

Referee: G Clancy (IRFU)