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Leinster A 57 Cardiff Blues A 10

15th September 2018

Cardiff Blues A suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Leinster A in the second round of Celtic Cup action on Saturday.

The Dublin-based outfit dominated the opening 40 minutes at Energia Park, securing a bonus point before the interval.

Cardiff Blues A battled back bravely, and certainly had positive spells of possession after the break, with the scrum being a particular highlight, creating a platform for consolation scores through Sion Bennett and Tom Williams.

However, Leinster did cross the whitewash to surpass the half-century mark before Michael Sylvester had the final word of the afternoon with a try in the final play.

Cardiff Blues A will look to move on quickly as they prepare for the first Celtic Cup game at the Arms Park next week, where they will host Ulster A on Saturday.

Both sides had opportunities during the opening moments of the game. A box kick from Lewis Jones was spilled by Harry Byrne, after colliding with his own team-mate, putting the visitors in a promising position.

Neat play in midfield opened space on the right for Tom Williams, but his chip behind bounced cruelly into touch.

A series of penalties allowed Leinster A into the Cardiff Blues 22. Despite good work by the defence to clear the danger, Leinster returned to the danger zone, after Irish international, Adam Byrne, claimed an up-and-under on the edge of the 22. 

This time, Leinster did take the opportunity to put points on the board, as a breakdown infringement gave Harry Byrne an easy penalty in front of the sticks.

However, the referee kept penalising the visitors, allowing outside half Byrne to put his side in attacking territory, with James Down sent to the sin bin. A driving line-out on the edge of Cardiff Blues A’s 22 almost saw Ben Jones intercept a pass from Patrick Patterson.

However, rugby can be a cruel game, and moments later the scrum half dotted down for his side’s first try under the posts.

They added a second try with 25 minutes on the clock. Good work on the floor from Lewis Jones initially forced a turnover, but Ben Jones’ attempted kick behind was charged down by Ronan Foley, who had the legs to win the foot race for the loose possession, despite the challenge of Sion Bennett.

Ronan Kelleher and Patterson both crossed for quickfire tries to secure the home side a bonus point - and a 31-point lead - before the interval.

Foley powered his way for a second early in the second half, before Harry Byrne’s cross field kick fell perfectly for namesake, Adam, on the wing, who touched down for his side’s sixth try of the afternoon.

Cardiff Blues A did work their way back into the contest with a period of pressure inside the Leinster A 22. The hosts were penalised eight times, before Michael Milne was sent to the sin bin.

The dominance of the scrum finally paid off, after four consecutive penalties, as Sion Bennett found a gap in the line to power over.

With eight minutes remaining, the hosts surpassed the half century mark through Josh Murphy.

Tom Williams crossed for a late consolation score with five minutes remaining, to give his side a slight hope of securing a dramatic bonus point, but Michael Sylvester got the final word for the Dublin-based outfit, crossing following fine work from wing Adam Byrne.