Thursday 22 February 2018

Macken pulls the strings for Leinster


LEINSTER produced a seven-try blitz in the British and Irish Cup at Donnybrook to put themselves on course for a Pool 5 defining clash with Pontypridd in early January.

Centre Eoin O'Malley, returning from long-term injury, helped to send Leinster on their way when he put right wing Adam Byrnes speeding into the right corner. Fly-half Noel Reid failed to find the target from the conversion. But he did find his range in the 11th minute before Jersey No 10 Barry Davies made it 8-3 in the 14th minute.

The Jersey line-out and work around the fringes was solid. They weren't as certain in the wider channels and Leinster countered from deep, with centre Brendan Macken embarking on a 50-metre surge which ended with a successful lunge for the line.

The visitors did the basics well and created a second penalty for Davies before another burst from Leinster's Macken, who was tackled just short of the line. Ref Rhys Thomas deemed Jersey to have infringed, binned Davies and awarded a penalty try, which Reid converted, for a 20-6 lead at the interval.

Leinster didn't let up after the break, Dominic Ryan feeding off Reid's pass to set up Leo Auva'a for the bonus-point try in the 41st minute. Reid then made a break, carried on by Macken, for Ryan to finish off a smooth move that was converted by Reid.

Byrnes' quick thinking then sent Conor Gilsenan in to add the seventh try with his first touch. And there was still time for a Jersey consolation for replacement Brendan O'Brien.

Leinster 'A' – A Conway; A Byrnes, E O'Malley (J Coghlan 62), B Macken, F Carr; N Reid (C Marsh 68), J Cooney (L McGrath 68); J McGrath (capt), A Dundon (T Sexton 50), M Moore (J O'Connell 56), B Marshall, T Denton (T Beirne 50), R Ruddock (C Gilsenan 63), D Ryan, L Auva'a.

Jersey – G Bryce; J Copsey, D Sanders (D Bishop 68), A Maggs, E Tellwright (E Nihill 49); B Davies, D McCormack (B O'Brien 68); S McCarthy, D Felton, J Gethings, N Hannay (capt), R Anderson, K Lang (C Clare h-t), F Silcock (J Brennan 78), G Bell.

Ref – R Thomas (Wales).

Irish Independent

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