Guinness PRO12: Leinster V Newport Gwent Dragons – The Irish Examiner – December 5 2016

Leo Cullen turns his sights to Northampton Saints

Following his side’s impressive bonus point victory over Newport Gwent Dragons in the Guinness PRO12 on Saturday evening, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen was quick to focus minds on Friday’s crunch Champions Cup encounter with Northampton.

After moving up to second place in the table, the Blues face a short turnaround for their trip to Franklin’s Garden – and Cullen is eager for his players to make amends for last season’s disappointing European campaign.

“It’s a challenge, because it is a short week. We play on Friday, so we only get really two decent sessions with the team. There is a big onus on the players this week in terms of getting up to speed. It is a big challenge but an exciting one. This next block of seven games is significant. It’s fair to say we were disappointed with how Europe went last season, so it is a huge focus for us.”

A superb break by scrum-half Luke McGrath placed Dragons on the back-foot in the 12th minute at the RDS and Birr native Peter Dooley eventually powered over the whitewash.

Isa Nacewa’s conversion was successful, and the Blues skipper also added the bonuses to a Ross Molony five-pointer. Like Dooley before him, this was a maiden try at this level for the towering lock, and a third converted score courtesy of man-of-the-match Jack Conan helped Leinster to establish a commanding 21-3 interval lead.

The hosts ensured that they would claim the maximum points on offer just two minutes after the restart – as a lung-bursting break by Rory O’Loughlin left returning Irish star Joey Carbery with a simple touchdown underneath the posts.

Dragons responded with a try from winger Pat Howard, and although Charlie Rock and Max Deegan were introduced for their debuts as part of wholesale changes to the Leinster side, Sarel Pretorius dotted down with ten minutes remaining to add a more respectable look to the final scoreline for the visitors.

The return of several players from international duty will lead to a much-changed starting line-up against Northampton, but because of England’s weekend Test with Australia in Twickenham, Cullen pointed out that their Aviva Premiership opponents will be in the same boat.

“It’s just about trying to get the right balance. There are always challenges right across the season. Northampton will have something similar. They had guys who were playing for England on Saturday. Other teams have similar changes. We had a chunk of guys away, and it was good to get some of them back this week. We’re getting to assess guys and seeing how they are. You are constantly assessing players based on their form, but also what they have done and how fresh they are. Trying to get a gauge at what is best, the combinations that work best for them and putting the best personalities in there too. There are lots of things for us to look at.

Scorers for Leinster:

P Dooley, R Molony, J Conan, J Carbery try each, I Nacewa 4 cons.

Scorers for Newport Gwent Dragons:

P Howard, S Pretorius try each, A O’Brien pen, con.

LEINSTER:

Z Kirchner; A Byrne, R O’Loughlin, N Reid, I Nacewa; J Carbery, L McGrath; P Dooley, J Tracy, J Loughman; R Molony, H Triggs; R Ruddock, D Leavy, J Conan.

Replacements:

T Daly for Reid (19), R Byrne for Carbery (46), R Strauss for Tracy, A Porter for Dooley, O Heffernan for Loughman (all 53), M McCarthy for Triggs, C Rock for McGrath (both 63), M Deegan for Ruddock (76).

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS:

C Meyer; P Howard, T Morgan, J Dixon, A Warren; A O’Brien, T Knoyle; P Price, E Dee, B Harris; N Crosswell, R Landman; L Evans, N Cudd, H Keddie.

Replacements:

T Prydie for Meyer (21), J Thomas for Cudd (39-40, blood), Thomas for Keddie, T Davies for Price (both 48), C Hill for Crosswell (51), GR Jones for Dixon (53), R Buckley for Dee, S Pretorius for Knoyle (both 55), L Fairbrother for Harris (76).

Referee:

M Mitrea (FIR).

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Guinness PRO12: Leinster V Newport Gwent Dragons – The Irish Examiner – December 5 2016

Guinness Pro12: Leinster V Newport Gwent Dragons – The Irish Mail On Sunday – December 4 2016

Dragons pose few problems for Blues

LEINSTER 28

DRAGONS 15

By Daire Walsh

LEINSTER moved up to second in the Guinness PRO12 table with victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at a sparsely-populated RDS.

The routed started after 12 minutes when Luke McGrath broke and Birr native Peter Dooley powered over on the left-hand side.

Isa Nacewa converted and then added the bonuses to a Ross Molony try just three minutes later. Like Dooley before him, this was a maiden try in Blue for the towering second-row, and a rampant Leinster claimed a third converted try through Jack Conan on the half-hour mark, going in at the break 21-3 ahead.

Within two minutes of the restart, they secured a much-desired bonus point. A massive break by Rory O’Loughlin left the returning Joey Carbery with the simple task of touching down underneath the posts.

By this point, Leinster had introduced several players from their replacements bench, and Dragons responded with a try of their own from winger Pat Howard on 55 minutes. Charlie Rock and Max Deegan were also introduced for their Leinster debuts in the final-quarter, but with ten minutes remaining in the contest, Sarel Pretorius dotted down at the end of a prolonged attacking move by the visitors.

Angus O’Brien superbly split the posts from a tricky touchline kick to reduce the Dragons deficit to 13 points, but they couldn’t rein in the Leinster challenge.

LEINSTER: Z Kirchner; A Byrne, R O’Loughlin, N Reid, I Nacewa; J Carbery, L McGrath; P Dooley, J Tracy, J Loughman; R Molony, H Triggs; R Ruddock, D Leavy, J Conan.

Reps: T Daly for Reid (19), R Byrne for Carbery (46), R Strauss for Tracy, A Porter for Dooley, O Heffernan for Loughman (all 53), M McCarthy for Triggs, C Rock for McGrath (both 63), M Deegan for Ruddock (76). SCORERS: Tries – P Dooley, R Molony, J Conan, J Carbery. Cons: I Nacewa 4.

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS: C Meyer; P Howard, T Morgan, J Dixon, A Warren; A O’Brien, T Knoyle; P Price, E Dee, B Harris; N Crosswell, R Landman; L Evans, N Cudd, H Keddie.

Replacements: T Prydie for Meyer (21), J Thomas for Cudd (39-40, blood), Thomas for Keddie, T Davies for Price (both 48), C Hill for Crosswell (51), GR Jones for Dixon (53), R Buckley for Dee, S Pretorius for Knoyle (both 55), T Morgan for Jones (72-75, blood), L Fairbrother for Harris (76). SCORERS: Tries: P Howard, S Pretorius. Cons: A O’Brien. Pens: A O’Brien.

REFEREE: M Mitrea (FIR).

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Guinness Pro12: Leinster V Newport Gwent Dragons – The Irish Mail On Sunday – December 4 2016

Ulster Bank League Division 1A Review: Old Belvedere V St Mary’s College – Irishrugby.ie – December 4 2016

OLD BELVEDERE 15 ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 0, Anglesea Road
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Tries: David Brandon 2; Con: Steve Crosbie; Pen: Steve Crosbie
St. Mary’s College: –

HT: Old Belvedere 8 St. Mary’s College 0

Winger David Brandon helped himself to two tries as Old Belvedere ended a three-match losing streak with a 15-0 home win over St. Mary’s College on Saturday afternoon.

Recent Munster recruit Steve Crosbie kicked the other five points as ‘Belvo moved six points clear of second-from-bottom St. Mary’s, ahead of a long winter break in Division 1A action.

Centre Sean Coughlan limped out of the Belvedere team before kick-off at Anglesea Road, but the home side hit the ground running and out-half Crosbie’s delicate chip almost produced a fourth-minute breakaway try.

Mary’s were held up and turned over from a promising maul opportunity before Crosbie opened the scoring in the 17th minute, landing a long range penalty with just inches to spare.

Clear-cut scoring opportunities were few and far between during a tight and attritional first half, but ‘Belvo struck seven minutes before half-time when excellent approach work by Crosbie led to Brandon diving over in the left corner.

The try was unconverted from the touchline and although Mary’s were unable to eat into the eight-point deficit with in-form lock David O’Connor just held up, the presence of Leinster ‘A’ starlet Jordan Larmour in the visitors’ youthful back-line offer them hope.

Mary’s let Belvedere off the hook after the restart, though. With Crosbie and second row Jack Kellybeing treated for blood injuries, the Templeogue side looked set to score but young out-half Conor Dean’s attempted pass towards David Fanagan and Conor Hogan was overcooked.

Dean then watched his 40-metre penalty attempt rebound off the post and ‘Belvo showed their clinical edge in attack again in the 61st minute, working the ball wide for Brandon to finish smartly in the left corner.

Crosbie brilliantly added the extras from out wide for a 15-point advantage and although ‘Belvo lost forwards Matt Ritani and Karl Miller to yellow cards, they finished the game with a clean defensive slate.

OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Shane McDonald, John Kennedy, James Kearns, David Brandon; Steve Crosbie, Aaron Sheehan; Adam Howard, Cathal O’Flynn, Declan Lavery (capt), Jack Kelly, Karl Miller, Jonathan Slattery, Tom de Jongh, David Sherry.

Replacements: Andy McGrath, James McWilliams-Grey, Matt Ritani, Willie Staunton, Kyle McCarthy.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: David Fanagan; Conor Hogan, Ryan O’Loughlin, Paddy Lavelle, Jordan Larmour; Conor Dean, Paddy O’Driscoll; Tom O’Reilly, Richard Halpin, Brian McGovern (capt), David O’Connor, Cathal O’Flaherty, Kevin Sheahan, Nick McCarthy, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Hugh Kelleher, Emmet Ferron, Ciaran Ruddock, Stephen O’Brien, Ian O’Neill.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on Ulster Bank League Division 1A Review: Old Belvedere V St Mary’s College – Irishrugby.ie – December 4 2016

Leinster Piece Ahead Of Dragons Home Game: The Irish Examiner – December 2 2016

Leinster boosted by Devin Toner’s new contract ahead of Dragons clash

Leinster received a timely boost yesterday with the news experienced lock Devin Toner has signed a contract with the IRFU to keep him at the province until at least June 2020.

The towering Meath native picked up his 42nd international cap against Australia at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday, and with more than 10 years of service under his belt at Leinster, he was thrilled to re-affirm his commitment to Irish rugby.

He said: “I am delighted to have re-signed with the IRFU and Leinster. There is a huge amount of talent coming through at Leinster and it is an exciting time to be involved with the province. There is a real opportunity to be successful at both provincial and national level over the coming years and I look forward to playing a part in helping to achieve that success.”

Along with many of those who featured in the recent Guinness Series, Toner is expected to sit out Leinster’s home game with Newport Gwent Dragons tomorrow evening (kick-off 7.35pm).

However, after making his international debut in a comprehensive win for Ireland over Canada on November 12, Blues scrum-half Luke McGrath has returned to the provincial set-up. Indeed, the 23-year-old (born in Canada) appeared from the replacements bench in Leinster’s 29-38 reversal against the Scarlets seven days ago, and he admitted the defensive effort from Leo Cullen’s charges will need to improve substantially if they are to return to winning ways in the Guinness PRO12.

“Our defence is going to have to be much better. That’s for a start. We were slipping off one-on-one tackles [against Scarlets]. Even though our system was good, we were just slipping off tackles you’d make nine times out of 10. That’s was the one real disappointment, but our mindset has to be massive,” McGrath admitted. “Over the last couple of years with Dragons; 2015 we lost twice to them, and then last year we lost over in Rodney Parade. They are a team that seem to beat us the last couple of years, so it’s a massive test. One thing was discipline. Just letting them have easy outs, and too many cards and stuff like that. It’s going to have to be a major focus for us.” McGrath is expected to be joined in the Leinster squad for this game by Birr native Peter Dooley, who feels he is benefiting from the intense competition he gets from Jack McGrath, Cian Healy, and Andrew Porter for the position of loosehead prop.

“The competition for loosehead is fairly hot in Leinster. The two boys played well at the weekend [against Australia] again, then there’s myself and Andrew Porter. It is tough alright, but they’re such good players you learn so much off [them]. Everyone has different aspects of the game, you pick up on that from each one of them.”

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Leinster Piece Ahead Of Dragons Home Game: The Irish Examiner – December 2 2016

Dublin Schools’ Juvenile Football ‘A’ Championship Semi-Final: Colaiste Eoin V Maynooth PPS – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

DUBLIN JUVENILE ‘A’ FC SEMI-FINAL

Eoin sail into final to face Benildus

Daire Walsh

COLAISTE Eoin will face St Benildus College in the Dublin Juvenile Football ‘A’ Championship decider, after they comprehensively defeated Maynooth PPS in UCD yesterday afternoon.

The gaelscoil suffered a narrow reversal to Benildus in last year’s final, and even though the Kilmacud side enjoyed a convincing success over St Aidan’s CBS three weeks ago, Eoin will be confident ahead of their upcoming meeting.

With captain Rian O Maolain combining effectively with Darra O Donnchu in midfield, the Booterstown outfit made a devastating start to the action at the Belfield venue. Three goals inside the opening five minutes left Maynooth with a mountain to climb, and although the north Kildare school attempted to work their way back into contention, they simply couldn’t rein in the free-scoring Eoin attack.

Liam O Fiachna claimed two goals for the southsiders, and courtesy of further three-pointers by Luke Breathnach, Seosamh O Riain and Conor O Gairne, they brought an insurmountable 24-point advantage into the interval.

In stark contrast to the first half, Eoin added just one score after the restart – as the Maynooth defence stuck admirably to their task. However, with O Donnchu (who finished with 0-3 to his name) continuing to make an impression, they ultimately secured a 5-12 to 0-3 triumph.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools’ Juvenile Football ‘A’ Championship Semi-Final: Colaiste Eoin V Maynooth PPS – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

Dublin Schools’ Juvenile Football ‘B’ Championship Final: Colaiste Eanna V St Declan’s College – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

DUBLIN SCHOOLS’ JUVENILE FOOTBALL ‘B’ FINAL: COLAISTE EANNA 6-9 ST DECLAN’S CBS 5-11

Eanna edge Declan’s in thriller thanks to Mullarkey

Daire Walsh

A LATE goal from Kevin Mullarkey made all the difference at Abbotstown on Friday afternoon for Colaiste Eanna, who claimed the Dublin Juvenile Football ‘B’ title in dramatic circumstances against St Declan’s College.

Their Cabra opponents had held a slender advantage in the closing moments of an engrossing showpiece decider, but thanks to Mullarkey’s all-important three-pointer (giving him a final haul of 2-3), Eanna edged through on a scoreline of 6-9 to 5-11.

Goal had been pivotal for the Ballyroan school in their semi-final triumph over Malahide CS, and they raced into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead during the early exchanges in the National Sports Campus.

Yet, the Declan’s attack had been devastating in their penultimate round success against Terenure College, and with midfielder Liam Keating and Gerard Ryan leading the way, they created a two-point cushion in time for the break.

Eanna kept Declan’s on their toes in the second half with a 1-1 salvo from substitute Barry Maguire, and David Kane also amassed a hat-trick of goal for the southsiders. However, courtesy of a combined tally of 3-8 from the aforementioned Keating and Ryan, Declan’s were in the driving seat as the final whistle approached.

Eanna netminder Daniel Furlong brilliantly turned away a penalty, but when the the rebound was subsequently fired to the net, it looked like Declan’s were ready to secure the silverware. Yet, Eanna and Mullarkey never allowed their heads to drop, and following excellent build-up work by Hugh O’Sullivan and Kane, the Thomas Davis star (the only non-Ballyboden St Enda’s player in his side’s ranks) propelled Colaiste Eanna to a hard-earned win.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Dublin Schools’ Juvenile Football ‘B’ Championship Final: Colaiste Eanna V St Declan’s College – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship First Round: St Aidan’s CBS V Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

GAELIC GAMES: LEINSTER SF ‘A’ 1ST RD

Collins Avenue outfit battle back against Patrician boys

AIDAN’S ACES DIG DEEP TO MOVE ON

Daire Walsh

ST AIDAN’S CBS booked their place in the second round of the Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship following their 1-12 to 0-11 victory over Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge last Friday afternoon,

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Ollie Denneher’s charges against their Kildare counterparts, but with Lee Gannon and James Doran in tremendous scoring form during a strong second-half showing, they eventually progressed at the end of a fiercely-competitive encounter at College Park.

EVENTUAL

Aidan’s were defeated by eventual champions St Benildus College at the quarter-final stage of last season’s provincial championship, but after they subsequently secured the Dublin title at the expense of the Kilmacud school, there was a real sense of optimism heading into the 2016/17 campaign.

However, with eight players of their starting line-up hailing from the local Sarsfields club, Patricians had developed a 0-6 to 0-2 lead with 22 minutes gone on Friday.

Yet, Gannon and Doran were beginning to make their presence felt as the half wore on, and with Dylan O’Connell also making a sizeable impact, they recorded back-to-back scores to leave just two points between the sides at the interval.

Aidan’s applied significant pressure in attack when the action resumed, but courtesy of some last-gasp defending from their opponents, they remained three points in arrears (0-9 to 0-6) heading into the final-quarter.

Patricians keeper David Sutton had also come to the rescue of his side, but when the chips were down, Aidan’s ultimately delivered in spades.

PARITY

Keith Campbell and Donal Ryan were beginning to dictate the play, and thanks to three points in quick succession, they had restored parity to the proceedings.

There was a sense that they were building momentum at just the right time, and even though they had lost Tony McCaul to a black card, Gannon and Doran combined effectively to move Aidan’s into the ascendancy. Doran finished with an impressive tally of 0-5, and courtesy of his decisive goal in stoppage-time (which killed off the challenge of Patrician), Gannon brought his final haul up to 1-3.

St Aidan’s can now look forward to a home second round fixture against St Mel’s of Longford tomorrow afternoon, while Colaiste Eoin and holders St Benildus College will face tricky assignments with St Peter’s, Wexford and Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar respectively.

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship First Round: St Aidan’s CBS V Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge – The Evening Herald – December 1 2016

Post-Match Reaction: Dublin V Cork Constitution – Ulster Bank League Division 1A – Cork Con Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – November 29 2016

Hickey delights in Con’s away win

AIL RUGBY

Daire Walsh

AFTER seeing his side record a fifth consecutive league triumph at the expense of Dublin University last Saturday, Cork Constitution coach Brian Hickey was understandably delighted.

A total 21 second-half points helped Con to move up to third spot in Division 1A, and Hickey was particularly pleased that they overcame the challenge posed by Irish rugby’s oldest club.

“I suppose the fact that we’ve won a few on the road is a big positive for us.

“I asked the other day how many guys had played against Trinity before, and only two had, and not with Con. None of the group had played in College Park before, and I said it’s a venue that they’ll long remember playing in,” Hickey remarked.

“They’re the oldest club side in the country. Huge tradition, and we were just very conscious of the challenge that they were going to put up. I thought it was a great game really.”

The ever-reliable Tomas Quinlan once again proved to be a valuable asset for the Temple Hill men, and his decision to kick for touch six minutes after the restart led to a try from Liam O’Connor.

This score was a major catalyst for Con, and Hickey feels it is important to allow players to make their own decisions on the field.

“He [Quinlan] kicked very well today, and just kept getting us ticking over.

“I think [the penalty for the first try] was quite far out, but we tried one just before it, and it hadn’t come off.

“We were confident in what we were doing, and I think nowadays you’ve got to back the players to make those decisions.

“Coaches will say ‘do one or the other’, but the players are out on the pitch. They know better what they’re dealing with.”

It had been a difficult week for the club in the build-up to the game, following the passing of former club coach and president, Brian Ludgate, last Tuesday night.

Hickey revealed that the players spoke of wanting to honour Brian’s memory, and he believes they managed to do that in their commanding success.

“It was a very tough week for the club, because we lost one of our stalwart members, and former coach and president, in Brian Ludgate. Tuesday night, very suddenly.

“I hadn’t mentioned it much in the build-up, but it was good that the players very much spoke this morning about the need to put in a performance for him and the Ludgate family.

“I think they did that.

“That’s what I’d probably be most proud about today,” Hickey added.

Posted in Senior Club Rugby | Comments Off on Post-Match Reaction: Dublin V Cork Constitution – Ulster Bank League Division 1A – Cork Con Coach Brian Hickey – The Evening Echo – November 29 2016

Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship First Round: Colaiste Eoin V Scoil Mhuire, Clane – The Kildare Nationalist – November 29 2016

LEINSTER SCHOOLS’ SENIOR FOOTBALL ‘A’ CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND

Last year’s semi-finalists suffer last gasp defeat

COLAISTE EOIN………………………………. 1-11

SCOIL MHUIRE, CLANE……………………….. 2-7

By Daire Walsh

There was heartbreak for Scoil Mhuire, Clane at Silver Park last Wednesday afternoon, when they suffered a last-gasp defeat to Colaiste Eoin in the opening round of the Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship.

With 2016 county minor star Ciaran Kelly helping himself to a personal tally of 2-4, Mhuire held a slender advantage during the closing moments of the contest. However, following late points from substitute Colum Ó Sé and Sean Ó Giolláin, it was their south Dublin counterparts who ultimately progressed.

Eoin had broken the deadlock in the third minute with a pointed free from close-range by Tomás Mac Aodha, but with Mhuire captain Shane McCormack acting as a sweeper in front of his full-back line, attacking opportunities were at a premium for the Metropolitan outfit.

Indeed, Mhuire received a massive boost on seven minutes, when the visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul on full-forward Sean Callan. The aforementioned Kelly stepped forward to negotiate this spot-kick, and he coolly fired beyond the reach of Eoin netminder Tadhg Ó Braonáin.

With scoring chances proving to be few and far between as the half wore on, this three-pointer was helping Mhuire to maintain a slender distance between themselves and the gaelscoil.

However, excellent Eoin midfielder Eoghan Mac Giolla Phádraig brilliantly split the posts from an awkward angle on the right-hand side just before the first-quarter, and although Mhuire replied with a fine effort from play by Callan, Mac Giolla Phádraig was once again on target from a subsequent attack.

Yet, this turned out to be the final score of the half, and as a result, Mhuire brought a 1-2 to 0-3 lead into the interval period. This cushion was cut in half by the raiding Mac Aodha when the action resumed, but after Shane Sullivan had cancelled out this score in eye-catching fashion, they were awarded their second penalty of the tie.

Eoin centre-back Mark Ó Treasaigh was black-carded for fouling Sullivan, and Kelly added to his personal tally with an calm finish to the bottom corner.

This placed Mhuire in an ideal position, but Eoin worked their way back into contention with much-needed points from Mac Giolla Phádraig, Mac Aodha and Dara de Poire – before back-to-back scores by the increasingly-prominent Sullivan and Kelly settled Mhuire once more.

Eoin were beginning to build serious attacking momentum, though, and as a supplement to Mac Aodha’s fourth point of the day, a superb right-footed finish courtesy of Mac Giolla Phádraig restored parity with 49 minutes gone on the clock.

This set-up a nerve-wracking conclusion to the game, and thanks to swapped scores between Kelly and Mac Aodha, the sides remained delicately poised. Then, with just seven minutes of normal time remaining, Mhuire were incredibly presented with a third opportunity from the penalty spot.

With Eoin’s Ó Braonáin also being black-carded for upending Billy Samba, Kelly was odds on to secure his hat-trick, but stand-in goalkeeper de Poire (who started at centre-forward, but has experience as a goalkeeper with the Dublin minor hurlers) pulled off an outstanding low save.

This was a significant lift for Eoin, and even though an exceptional long-distance free by Kelly moved Mhuire back into the ascendancy two minutes from time, Colum Ó Sé replied in swift style for the Booterstown school.

As the final whistle beckoned, Eoin were beginning to dominate possession, and Ó Giolláin was on hand to decide the outcome with a calmly-struck point from 25 metres.

COLAISTE EOIN: Tadhg Ó Braonáin; Naoise Ó Cróinín, Peadar Ó Cofaigh-Byrne, Ruairi Ó Gallachóir; Antaine Ó Cuinn, Mark Ó Treasaigh, Diarmuid Ó Floinn; Eoghan Mac Giolla Phádraig (1-3), Jack Ó hAirtneada; Sean Ó Giolláin (0-1), Dara de Poire (0-1), Tomás Mac Aodha (0-5, 3f); Conchúr Cinnsealach, Fionn Ó Ceallaigh, Eoghan Seoige.

SUBS: Daniel Ó Laoghaire for O Treasaigh (25, black card), Colum Ó Sé (0-1) for Cinnsealach (47), Des O Dúgáin for Ó Braonáin (53).

SCOIL MHUIRE, CLANE: John Ball; Mark Brien, Brian Giffney, Justin Reilly; Josh Browne, Sam McCormack, Michael Gill; David Kelly, Rory O’Neill; Billy Camba, Shane Sullivan (0-2), Conor Harris; Ciaran Kelly (2-4, 2-0 pen, 0-3f), Sean Callan (0-1), Shane McCormack.

SUBS: Liam Kennedy for Gill (37), Chris Delaney for D Kelly (46).

Posted in Schools GAA | Comments Off on Leinster Schools’ Senior Football ‘A’ Championship First Round: Colaiste Eoin V Scoil Mhuire, Clane – The Kildare Nationalist – November 29 2016

Adam Byrne Interview Before Leinster Game Against Scarlets: The Kildare Nationalist – November 29 2016

RUGBY: ADAM BYRNE INTERVIEW

Byrne making the most of his opportunity to impress

Daire Walsh

DESPITE finding himself on the losing side for only the second time in his Leinster first-team career, it was another productive weekend on the scoring front for Kill’s Adam Byrne in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday evening.

Leinster suffered their second defeat in this year’s competition to the Scarlets in Wales, but although there was nine points (38-29) separating the teams in the end, the Blues managed to come away with a try-bonus from a high-scoring encounter.

Byrne crossed over on 55 minutes to give himself an outstanding seasonal tally of five tries from just three appearances, and speaking in the build-up to the game, he acknowledged that this is a crucial period for his development as a Leinster player.

“I had a good go in pre-season, I got to play in the pre-season games. Then it’s just up to the coaches whether they pick you or not, but I’ve been plugging away at training and waiting for my opportunity,” Byrne remarked.

“You realise, whenever the internationals are on a few players leave, so there’s a bit more of a chance for you. I’ve been having conversations with the coaches, and trying my best in training. It’s always good to get an opportunity, and you just have to take them.”

Byrne’s first opportunity to impress Leo Cullen and recently-appointed senior coach Stuart Lancaster came in the interprovincial game against Connacht on October 29. Because they had already lost players to the Ireland camp, Byrne realised it was likely to be a tough encounter at the RDS, and he enjoyed getting his name on the scoresheet at home to the PRO12 champions.

“For me personally, that was a great moment. It was a big game for us, Connacht were doing really well. They’re Pro12 champions, so we knew it was going to be a big game. Losing a few of the big players to the Ireland camp, we knew the rest of the squad had to step up.”

“I was just delighted to get the chance, and I knew once I had that jersey on, I had to deliver. I think my try, I just picked it up, and put it down. It was on the back of the other lads again, but it’s just great to kind of get the score for the team. It was a great moment for me and the team.”

This encouraging display from Byrne was then supplemented by his hat-trick in Italy a week later against Zebre, a game that saw him featuring alongside housemates Tom Daly and Peter Dooley. Another man that he shares accommodation with, Josh van der Flier, played a significant role for Ireland in their historic win over the All Blacks on the same day, and Byrne has been keen to pick the Wicklow man’s brain for any knowledge he has of the international set-up.

“Yeah, I think me and Tom [Daly], looking back last year, spent a ridiculous amount of days together. I was delighted for him, he was starting and making his debut against Zebre. It was a great moment, and it was a great moment for the house as well.”

“There was me, Peter Dooley, Thomas Daly playing in Zebre, and then we had Josh van der Flier, obviously, beating the All Blacks. It was a great moment for the house.”

“Josh was home the other day, and getting to quiz him and stuff, and ask him all about the game. It’s surreal, but it pushes the rest of us on. It’s great, especially in our house, we just drive each other,” Byrne added.

Posted in European Rugby | Comments Off on Adam Byrne Interview Before Leinster Game Against Scarlets: The Kildare Nationalist – November 29 2016