Leinster survive late surge
Rotherham Titans 9 Leinster 'A' 12
Published 16/11/2015 | 02:30
Top-class defending, as much as accurate goal-kicking, enabled the 2013 and 2014 champions to start the new B & I Cup campaign positively at Clifton Lane, where they overcame, but only just, a highly competitive Rotherham side.
Leinster were leading by only three points in added-time as Rotherham's forwards launched several attacks, but solid tackling and a well-organised defence prevented the Yorkshiremen from breaking through.
Earlier, Leinster, leading 9-6 at the interval following penalties by fly-half Ross Byrne, and two from centre Steve Crosbie in Byrne's absence because of a yellow card, grabbed a slender advantage on 72 minutes.
The Leinster pack drove up the field to put Byrne into a good position to drop a goal, which he did with style and precision, but while his skill provided a lead of 12-9, it still had to be defended as Rotherham fought back with great determination.
In an exciting climax to an entertaining game, Leinster were pinned deep in their 22;however the pack, typified by the efforts of lock Tadhg Beirne, would not be beaten.
"To start with a win is brilliant. We expected a physical battle and knew it was going to be tight," said coach Hugh Hogan.
Leinster's next opponents are Moseley at Donnybrook on Friday.
Rotherham Titans - Scanlon; Keating, Hayes, Barker, Wilson; Jones (McKinney 64), Davies (Carter 73); Hislop (Cromie 73), Maddison (Preece 40), Tampin (Thiede 52);Holmes, Oram (Salmon 63); Gilmour, Birch, Argyle.
Leinster A - Dardis; Fanning, Farrell, Crosbie, McGrath; Byrne, Rock; Dooley,Byrne, Burke-Flynn (Bent 45); Beirne, Thornbury (Molony 45); Timmins, Leavy, Ryan (Murphy 65).
Ref - R Thomas (Wales).