Home Rugby Leinster Win And Ulster Snatch Draw From Jaws Of Defeat In The PRO14

Leinster Win And Ulster Snatch Draw From Jaws Of Defeat In The PRO14

It was a mixed night for the Irish provinces who were in Guinness PRO14 action on Friday night.

Leinster secured a 22-17 win against the Scarlets at the RDS while Ulster looked to have been beaten but a penalty try at the death secured a 17-17 draw with Benetton at the Kingspan Stadium.

___

Leinster were deprived of possession and territory for much of the first half against Scarlets but they began to get a foothold in the game after the 20-minute mark.

Ciaran Frawley put Leinster 3-0 ahead with a penalty after 30 minutes and Leo Cullen’s side then struck a blow with the last play of the first half when Rory O’Loughlin spun away from some would-be tacklers to touch down next to the posts.

O’Loughlin’s try came after plenty of pressure from the eastern province who were using their lineout maul to good effect.

With a 10-0 lead going into the second half, Paul Asquith blew a huge opportunity when he knocked on when attempting to ground the ball after picking off a Leinster pass.

Although Dan Jones missed a penalty soon after, Scarlets got their first try of the game through Kieran Hardy which was converted by Jones before he tied the match seven minutes later as he landed a 60th-minute penalty.

In the 68th minute, Leinster regained the lead when a 5m scrum saw the ball spread wide to James Lowe and the Kiwi had too much power to be stopped by Ioan Nicholas.

Scarlets will rue what happened next as they failed to find touch with a penalty. From the resulting Leinster possession, Vakh Abdaladze when on a rampaging run before Barry Daly got on the end of a superb grubber kick to touch down in the corner. Frawley converted to give Leinster a 22-10 lead.

Although the game looked over, Scarlets hit back immediately through Hardy who got his second try of the game as he ran in under the posts. Jones converted to leave five points between the teams with five minutes remaining.

With the clock in the red, Scarlets made a superb linebreak deep into Leinster territory but a loose pass which failed to find its intended target gave the home side possession and the ball was subsequently kicked dead.

__

At the Kingspan Stadium, Ulster got off to a blistering start when Louis Ludik touched down in the corner with just a minute on the clock. Billy Burns couldn’t knock over the touchline conversion so the home side a 5-0 lead.

However, the Italian side dominated possession and territory for the remainder of the half and they were rewarded for their efforts when Federico Ruzza hit back with a try on the 10-minute mark.

Dubliner Ian McKinley was on hand to secure the conversion to give his side the lead and he extended that after 38 minutes with a penalty to give Benetton a five-point advantage going into the break.

Ulster hit back in the second half when hooker Rob Herring touched down after a powerful lineout drive from the hosts. Michael Lowry’s conversion attempt hit the post to leave the sides all square.

At the midway point of the second half, Benetton took the lead again when Iliesa Ratuva Tavuyara went over in the corner after the Italian side built a number of phases in the Ulster 22. McKinley converted from the tee to give the away side a seven-point lead.

Benetton looked to have secured a famous away win only for Ulster to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat as they were awarded a penalty try at the death.

About Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here: