Kearns shines as Leinster overcome Australia
LEINSTER U-19 SCHOOLS 27 AUSTRALIA U-19 SCHOOLS 17
Leinster showed great resolve to turn an 11-point deficit into a 10-point victory at Donnybrook.
The Australians had already beaten Fiji 31-7, been beaten by New Zealand 17-16, Wales 26-12 and England 23-3 and got back to winning ways against Scotland 29-5 in Edinburgh last Friday.
They went behind to the boot of fly-half Sean Kearns in the 18th minute. It was then they came to life. Left-wing Adrian Henley's offload found flanker Douglas McMillan, who found fly-half Mitchell Third to touch down, his conversion making it 7-3.
Aussie lock Ned Hanigan went over next, the conversion making it 14-3 at the break.
A Kearns penalty got Leinster going again. He then cut inside it for a sizzling try which he converted in the 50th minute.
Leinster captain James Ryan was on hand to take the ball home for the real game-changer in the 53rd minute as Kearns' extras put them six points clear.
Australia replacement fly-half Andrew Deegan tightened it up with a penalty to make it a three-point game but the home side held their composure, with No 8 Nick Timoney going over and Kearns' conversion sealing it.
Leinster -- J Carbery (Blackrock); A Leavy (St Michael's), C O'Brien (St Finian's), F Cleary (Clongowes), C O'Donoghue (Clongowes); S Kearns (Blackrock), D Duggan (St Michael's); D Fitzpatrick (Blackrock), J Molony (Clongowes), N Mpiko (King's Hos), J Dwan (Blackrock), J Ryan (St Michael's, capt), W Connors (Clongowes), C Oliver (Blackrock), N Timoney (Blackrock). Reps: J Phelan (Newbridge, for Mpiko, ht); M Deegan (St Michael's, for Oliver 45); T Schmidt (Terenure, for Duggan 51); R Vallejo (Good Counsel New Ross, for O'Donoghue 65); C Joyce-Ahearne (CBS Wexford, for Dwan 66), A Roche (Terenure, for Molony 66).
Australia -- T Milne; J Todd, T Moeroa, K Morgan, A Henley; M Third, J Tuttle (capt); E Guttenbeil, T Tai, M Gibbon, L Cannell, N Hanigan, D Morris, D McMillan-Warren, R Vosayco. Reps: H Hutchinson (for Moeroa 30); A Mafi (for McMillan h-t), J Anderson (for Hanigan h-t); A Deegan (for Third 50), F Sa'aga (for Guttenbeil 50); J McCalman (for Warren-Vosayaco 57); M Sandell (for Gibbon 67), M Short (for Tuttle 67).
Ref -- S Gallagher (Leinster Branch).