Sunday, September 1, 2013

Leinster come a little unstuck against the Saints, and a few other odds and ends.

 Ian Madigan (photo by me obviously)

The pre season friendly at Donnybrook is a bit of a routine for me now, and there was the normal genial craic to be had at this cosy venue. A fairly low key Leinster side made a decent fist of keeping the score decent against a strong Saints team. Saints had the obvious advantage from the off, kitted out as they were in the most horrendous show stopping dayglo lime outfit. Northampton had two Lions, and a good few England players in it, whereas Leinster were light on experience,  Leinster got the first try while the adrenalin was going, but it was always going to be hard after that, in particular at scrum time. The players that stood out for me were Jimmy Gopperth, who seems to always keep his cool, Aaron Dundon who tackled like a tiger, made a few good runs, and got a couple of turnovers, and Eoin Reddan who settled things down a lot when he came on.

For the Saints, Lawes and Manoa are some combination, Corbiserio is a class unit, and George North attracts tacklers like nothing else.

I’d have liked to see more of the full Leinster team, but it was a pretty good night out all round.
Ulster rounded up their warm ups losing to the Tigers, but that is a quality squad now. Munster wrapped up a two match series with London Irish with a good win. The Exiles even have a few Irish players now!

And Connacht lost to Newcastle last weekend, where new  Kiwilock (one of the best playing in Ireland now IMO) Craig Clarke made a bright start.

Leinster 13 v 21 Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers 30 Ulster 10
Munster 27-13 London Irish
Newcastle Falcons 23 - 10 Connacht

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