British & Irish Cup, Pool 5
On a wet and blustery night in Dublin, and having endured a
frustrating and delayed travel, Jersey ended up well-beaten by a
very solid Leinster side that showed all the credentials that have
seen them lift the cup in the previous two seasons.
Playing with the wind advantage to start with, it was Leinster
who were first on to the scoresheet with a long range penalty
effort. They doubled their advantage before Robling got a penalty
back for Jersey with a superb strike into the wind.
Having steadied the ship, Jersey were to fall immediately
further behind from the restart as the kick-off was fumbled.
Leinster reacted quickest and it was scrum-half McGrath who
benefitted with a soft try that was easily converted.
Byrne added another penalty for Leinster before Jersey, who had
been under pressure in the front row and had conceded a number of
penalties were reduced to 14 as Nacho saw yellow.
Jersey held out for that 10 minute period, and it was just after
Nacho returned to the side that McGrath crossed for his second try.
Jersey were in possession in their own 22, but a Glynn box kick
failed to clear effectively and having retrieved the loose ball,
Leinster reacted fastest to extend their lead.
The most extraordinary period of play of the night was the 15
minutes of play that took place before the half-time whistle.
Jersey were camped on the Leinster 5m line and despite numerous
penalties and reset scrums that saw two of the Leinster front row
sent to the bin, the referee did not award a penalty try. There was
even time for one of those players to return to the fray before
Leinster were finally and surprisingly awarded a penalty as the
clock struck 54 minutes. The hosts kicked to touch and the whistle
Jersey desperately needed to assert themselves quickly in the
second half, and although they scored an early penalty, and in
spite of plenty of possession and territorial advantage, the
crucial try did not come.
Leinster restored their 20 point lead late on in the half, and
even the fresh legs from the Jersey bench could not instigate a
Reds' score. Griffiths looked lively with a few sniping runs from
quickly-taken penalties, but it was all to no avail.
At the close when interviewed, Head Coach Biljon refused to be
drawn on the subject of the 'PT not-given' and instead rued the
missed opportunities when Jersey did have possession.
The result sees Leinster move above Jersey at the top of the
Pool with Camarthen and Plymouth set to play tomorrow.
Carmarthen Quins beat Plymouth 29-16 (3 tries to 1), so Jersey
stay in 2nd place after two rounds. Next week's trip to Plymouth is
a 'must-win' to keep Jersey's B&I cup alive at the half-way
Report by: William Church
Leinster: Kelleher, Coghlan-Murray, O'Loughlin,
Crosbie, Byrne A, Byrne R, McGrath (C), Dooley (YC), Byrne B (YC),
Heffernan, Thornbury, Molony, Timoney, Van der Flier, Coghlan,
Replacements: Dundon, McGovern, McCarthy, O'Connor,
Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer, Locke, Robling,
Dawson, Bentley, Glynn, Lancuba (YC), Garcia-Veiga, Herriott,
Markham, Campbell, Haining, Hodson (c), Noone
Replacements: Harris, Brennan, Rae, Buckle, Griffiths,
Referee: Matthew O'Grady (RFU)
Attendance: 300 (estimate)
Star man: Luke McGrath (Leinster 'A')
Half time: 23-3
Tries: McGrath (2)
Conversions: Byrne R (2)
Penalties: Byrne R (3), Marsh (1)
Penalties: Robling (1), Bentley
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.