Leinster 'A' 44 Jersey 13
British & Irish Cup, pool 5
by Tom Innes
Anyone who watched the two sides tussle in the mud at St Peter
and wondering what a pacy Leinster side might do to Jersey on a
firm, wide pitch didn't have to wait long to find out.
A week after the opening encounter, Jersey were cut to shreds by
a talented outfit determined to restore Leinster pride the day
after the province's senior side sustained a damaging Heineken Cup
loss to Clermont Auvergne.
On a mild Dublin afternoon featuring sunshine, occasional
showers and a picturesque rainbow, the match began scrappily, with
Jersey forced into an early change with Kingsley Lang sustaining a
heavy blow to his nose and being replaced by Paul Rodgers.
Leinster came close through an impressive running move sparked
by Eoin O'Malley, a regular in the senior side in recent seasons
but making his first outing of 2012/13 after injury, and almost
finished by Dominic Ryan. But the hosts did cross when first-phase
ball from a scrum was fed wide at pace and winger Adam Byrne
crossed in the corner.
After fly-halves Noel Reid and Barry Davies had exchanged
penalties, Brendan Macken took the ball on the left near half-way
and embarked on a devastating burst that took him through three
tackles to the line.
Jersey kept in touch through a Davies penalty and the situation
didn't look too worrying from a visiting perspective as the first
half entered added time, but the visitors then suffered a double
blow. After James Copsey missed an intended interception in
midfield, Macken charged for the line again and was only stopped by
a tackle from Davies just short of Jersey's line that also involved
illegally preventing release. The result was a yellow card for the
Welshman and a penalty try to the Irish side.
Jersey needed an early score after the break, but Leinster used
their numerical advantage to great effect within two minutes of the
restart - Reid seized loose ball and burst through, feeding Ryan
who fed a scoring pass to Leo Auva'a for his second try on
successive B&I weekends.
While the first yellow card seemed clear-cut, Davies' return to
the fray on 49 minutes coincided with another, far less obvious,
sin-binning - most observers were baffled as to how James Gethings
had incurred the referee's displeasure as the two packs engaged for
Leinster continued to punish their opponents and Macken,
outstanding throughout, and Reid were involved in the build-up to
the fifth try, finished by Ryan, before Byrne crossed again on the
right for number six.
Just after the hour mark replacement Conor Gilsenan crossed for
another Leinster score with his first touch, sparking fears that
Jersey could be on the wrong end of a 60-point thumping. However to
their credit, heads stayed up and there was some impressive impact
from the bench.
Max Stelling showed power and pace in the back-line, Dai Bishop
was in combative form, and Brendan O'Brien added a spark from the
base of the scrum. The Irish scrum-half was first to react when the
ball squirted out of a scrum near Leinster's line and pounced for
the try (below), impressively converted from near the touchline by
The consolation score was reward for the effort shown by the
visitors to attack in the closing stages, with Davies almost adding
a second late on when he gathered a clever kick over the advancing
defence but just failed to reach the line after running 35 metres.
Leinster were unable to add to their points total and lost
replacement prop Jack O'Connell to the sin-bin.
New loan signing Charlie Clare had less chance to impress after
being introduced to the fray on his 21st birthday, but his efforts
and that of starting hooker Dave Felton contributed to an improved
Jersey showing in the line-out.
Jersey will hope those making up B&I squad will be available
for selection next week, with the possible exception of Fred
Silcock who limped from the fray late on. Sean McCarthy had been a
lively presence for Jersey all day and finished the match taking
Silcock's place on the flank while Jon Brennan went into the front
The home side finished clear winners, even if the 31-point
margin was lower than seemed likely at one stage. The result
boosted morale in the Leinster camp, although it was a shame that
barely one per cent of the 49,000 Saturday crowd at the Aviva
Stadium were at Donnybrook to see the province's young stars show
off their potential.
Jersey, sponsored by Locate Jersey and
Forwards: Sean McCarthy, Dave Felton, James Gethings (YC
49), Nathan Hannay (capt), Rob Anderson, Kingsley Lang, Fred
Silcock, Graham Bell). Half-backs: Dave McCormack, Barry
Davies (YC 40+1). Backs: Ed Tellwright, Ashley Maggs,
Donovan Sanders, James Copsey, Glenn Bryce.
Jersey replacements: Paul Rodgers for Lang (4), Max
Stelling for Bell (44), Eoghan Nihill for Tellwright (49), Jon
Brennan for Rodgers (52-60), Brendan O'Brien for McCormack (55),
Charlie Clare for Felton (60), Dai Bishop for Maggs (64), Brennan
for Silcock (80).
Leinster 'A': Jack McGrath (capt), Aaron Dundon,
Martin Moore, Ben Marshall, Tom Denton, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan,
Leo Auva'a; John Cooney, Noel Reid; Fionn Carr, Brendan Macken,
Eoin O'Malley, Adam Byrne, Andrew Conway. Replacements (all
used): Thomas Sexton, Jack O'Connell (YC 80+2), Tadhg Beirne,
Conor Gilsenan, Luke McGrath, Jordan Coghlan, Cathal Marsh.
Leinster man-of-the-match: Brendan Macken
Jersey man-of-the-match: Sean McCarthy
Referee: Rhys Thomas (WRU)
Tries: Byrne 10, 55, Macken 23, Penalty Try 40+1, Auva'a
42, Ryan 49, Gilsenan 64
Cons: Reid 40+1, 49, 64
Pen: Reid 12
Try: O'Brien 72
Con: Davies 72
Pens: Davies 15, 29
Report reproduced by kind permission of Jersey Evening Post.
Pics by Sue Trower - more on the Gallery page
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