McKeon adds the extras to seal success for Leinster's rising stars
Leinster Development 23 Ireland U-20 22
MIKE RUDDOCK'S Ireland received a brisk workout from Leinster in their first match of a season that will culminate in the World Cup in New Zealand.
Ireland started well, with Ross Byrne kicking a penalty. However, Leinster hit back with drop goals from Conor McKeon in the 14th and 19th minutes followed by a penalty from the same player to give them a 9-3 lead around the half-hour mark.
It got even better for the Blues when left-wing Niyi Adeoluqan breached the Ireland defence and had the pace to beat the cover for a touchdown. McKeon converted to leave a 13-point gap.
Ruddock’s side struck for tries either side of half-time through No 8 Jack O'Donoghue and right wing Alex Wooten to leave the minimum gap.
Chances subsequently went abegging until Ireland replacement centre Gary Ringrose scythed through for a try, which was converted by Byrne to make the score 22-16 in the 64th minute.
Leinster were not done, though.
The introduction of twin brothers Bryan and Edward Byrne had an immediate effect.
Their scrum found traction and centre Stephen Toal-Lennon was the extra man on the end of the line for an injury-time try, converted by McKeon, which gave Leinster victory by the minimum.
LEINSTER DEVELOPMENT– S Crosbie; C Brennan, S Toal- Lennon, S Coughlan (M Courtney 25), N Adeoluqan; C McKeon, C Rock (N McCarthy 63); I Soroka (E Byrne 56), S Delahunt (B Byrne 57), C Trenier (J Gianoli 67), S Gardiner, C Owende, J Murphy, M Triggs (P Thornton 67), M Fallon (J van der Flier 63).
IRELAND U-20 – C Kelleher (P Robb 65); A Wooten (R Adair 46), D Goggin (G Ringrose h-t), P Robb, I Fitzpatrick; R Byrne, R Foley (J Cullen h-t); P Dooley (M Lynch 56), M Abbott (S Flanagan 56), R Burke (S Meunargia h-t), S O'Brien (M Campbell 58), R Molony, P Timmins (L Dow h-t), A Butler, J O'- Donoghue.
REF – P Haycock (Leinster Branch).