Tuesday 12 November 2019

Leinster 'A' set up winner-takes-all clash

O'Brien: "We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to go to the Dragons and the scoreline reflects that." Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Leinster 'A' will battle it out with Munster 'A' on Friday night for the right to play in the inaugural final of the Celtic Cup competition.

The two unbeaten teams in Conference A face a winner-takes-all clash at Donnybrook to decide who will face the top Welsh regional side in the final.

Leinster followed Munster in bagging a bonus-point win as they hit back to beat Dragons 'A' 48-29 after trailing 21-12 at half-time.

"We knew it wasn't going to be easy to go to the Dragons and the scoreline reflects that. We didn't get anything easy," said Conor O'Brien.

"We're going into every game and giving 100pc and this game was no different. At half-time we just said we need to focus on holding on to the ball in attack and getting off the line a little bit more, putting more pressure on them."

The home side led 21-12 at the break and were still very much in the game up to the hour mark. In the end, though, four late tries from Nick McCarthy, Caelan Doris, Adam Byrne and Jimmy O'Brien sealed it for the unbeaten visitors.

Meanwhile, a powerful first half from Cardiff Blues 'A' set them on the way to a 26-12 victory at the Sportsground, condemning Connacht Eagles to yet another defeat.

Aled Summerhill opened the scoring for the Blues after just six minutes when Tom Williams' kick through sat up perfectly for the winger to gather.

A strong driving lineout provided their second try from hooker Liam Belcher at the midpoint of the half, with a third coming from Tom James.

Connacht looked set for a better second half with Jonny Murphy getting their first points on the board, and while Belcher was in the bin, but Cardiff responded immediately through Harri Millard, securing the bonus point. Murphy got his second try just before the hour mark but Connacht still faced a steep incline.

The Blues were too good defensively for the hosts and were able to continuously match everything that Connacht threw at them.

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