Thursday 26 April 2018

Leinster trounce Gloucester in pre-season warm up

LEINSTER 50 GLOUCESTER 14

Isa Nacewa of Leinster applauds the supporters with his team mates following the Bank of Ireland Pre-season Friendly match between Leinster and Gloucester at St Mary's RFC in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Isa Nacewa of Leinster applauds the supporters with his team mates following the Bank of Ireland Pre-season Friendly match between Leinster and Gloucester at St Mary's RFC in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Leinster were able to hit the half-century mark in an impressive seven-try demolition of Gloucester in their second pre-season hit out at Templeville Road last night.

Leinster were surprisingly slick in their early moments, carving up an out-of-sorts Gloucester defence from the first minute.

It was Scott Fardy’s fine line that did the initial damage for scrum-half Gibson-Park and prop Peter Dooley to act as the links to Isa Nacewa for the first try.

The odds on something of a thrashing shortened Jordi Murphy, Max Deegan and especially Rob Kearney created the opening for hooker Bryan Byrne to put down his second pre-season try in two matches for Ross Byrne to convert in the 14th minute.

It was then Gloucester out-half Owen Williams began to come into the game, mainly through his educated boot.

They were alive to space on the right and Henry Purdy powered through a tackle for William to look like making a game of it from the conversion in the 25th minute. 

The finer detail of Leinster’s back play was exploiting gaps and the speed of Jamison Gibson-Park allied to good decisions by the Kearney brothers put Max Deegan in position to hammer home his physical advantage for Byrne to make it 19-7 at the break.

From there, Ireland U20 Jordan Larmour made a deep impression from his two tries, first stepping inside and then latching onto Cathal Marsh’s chip with lightening pace.

Number eight Deegan was available on the left for his second try and wing Hugo Keenan grabbed the last try late on.  

It was a case of the floodgates opening up, thereafter, as Leinster’s gutted Gloucester for four more tries.

They were content to add a Byrne penalty before Jordan Larmour pinched the first of his two tries on the hour and Deegan nabbed his second four minutes after.   

The English club did momentarily steady the ship when Andy Symons picked up a consolation try before Larmour and wing Hugo Keenan completed the rout.

LEINSTER: R Kearney (J Larmour ht); H Keenan, A Byrne, I Nacewa (capt, F McFadden ht), D Kearney (B Daly ht, I Fitzpatrick 65)); R Byrne (C Marsh 60), J Gibson-Park (C Rock 49); P Dooley (E Byrne 60), B Byrne (S McNulty 60), M Bent (V Abdaladze 65), I Nagle (M Kearney ht), S Fardy (O Dowling 60), J Murphy, J Murphy (W Connors ht), M Deegan (O Hefferrnan 72).

GLOUCESTER: D Halaifonua (T Hudson ht); C Sharples (H Purdy 15 mins), H Trinder (M Scott ht), B Twelvetrees (M Atkinson ht), O Thorley (A Symons ht); O Williams (B Burns ht), W Heinz (capt, C Braley ht); J Afoa C Orr ht), H Walker (J Mullis ht), F Balmain (G Denman ht); E Slater (T Savage ht), J Thrush (A Crammond ht, T Denton 72); J Polledri (C Beckett ht), L Ludlow (W Safe ht), F Clarke.

Referee: D Wilkinson, IRFU.

At Templeville Road – LEINSTER 50 (M Deegan, J Larmour 2 tries each; H Keenan, I Nacewa, B Byrne try each; R Byrne pen, 3 cons; C Marsh 3 cons); GLOUCESTER 14 (H Purdy, A Symons try each; B Burns, O Williams con each).

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