Thursday 21 March 2019

Late surge from Leinster increases their grip at top of table

Leinster 59 Southern Kings 19

22 February 2019; Noel Reid of Leinster breaks the tackle of Sarel Pretorius of Southern Kings on his way to scoring his side's fourth try during the Guinness PRO14 Round 16 match between Leinster and Southern Kings at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
22 February 2019; Noel Reid of Leinster breaks the tackle of Sarel Pretorius of Southern Kings on his way to scoring his side's fourth try during the Guinness PRO14 Round 16 match between Leinster and Southern Kings at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Leinster were patchy enough in heaping another five points on top of their bountiful haul to go 27 points clear in Conference B. 

The expectant crowd didn’t have to wait long, Noel Reid bursting through the middle after the Kings got into a muddle in defence for Ross Byrne to make it 7-0 on six minutes.

The avalanche of tries would have to wait as the South Africans got into something of a rhythm until Mick Kearney and Max Deegan rattled in the dominant tackles. It was immaterial when wing Bjorn Basson turned the returning Fergus McFadden inside out for the try that let Leinster know this wasn’t going to be a one-way show. 

This was confirmed when Sarel Pretorius sniffed out their second try from close range, converted by Bader Pretorius for 12-7 in the 20th minute.   

The boys in Blue quickly repaired that damage, prop Ed Byrne bursting over for his first and second tries, Ross Byrne converting for 17-12 by the 29th minute.

The bonus-point arrived from Noel Reid’s late line onto the ball to close out the first half. It got interesting again when Bader Pretorius created the overlap for Ulrich Beyers to score, the former’s conversion making it a one-score game.

However, Leinster took over again. Ross Byrne’s side-door flip put Barry Daly in, Andrew Porter powered over, Max Deegan got home from 30 metres and Patrick Patterson picked up his first for Leinster and Rory O’Loughlin dotted the ninth, all converted by Byrne.   

Leinster – B Daly (J O’Brien 59); F McFadden, C O’Brien, N Reid (R O’Loughlin 51), J Lowe; R Byrne, H O’Sullivan (P Patterson 64); E Byrne (P Dooley 56), R Kelleher J Tracy 56), A Porter (V Abdaladze 56), R Molony (capt, S Fardy 74)), M Kearney (J Dunne 42), J Murphy, M Deegan, C Doris.

Kings – U Beyers (M Banda 57), Y Penxe, M Rokoua, B Klaasen (T Kruger 59), B Basson; B Pretorius, S Pretorius (S Ungerer 63); A Tshakweni (S Ferreira 57), M Willemse (capt, A van Rooyen 63)), DJ Terblanche (P Scholtz 57), S Greeff (JC Astle 11), A Van Schalkwyk, H Brown, M Burger, R Lerm (A Ntsila 53).

Ref – S Grove-White (Scotland)

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