The Mick O’Driscoll coached Munster A’s secured an 18-8 victory over their Leinster counterparts in Donnybrook today.
In perfect conditions it was not the running rugby you would expect on the new artificial 3G surface at Donnybrook today, and it wasn’t until the second half before both sides crossed the white wash.
With a dominant scrum Munster created the most opportunities in the first half but the sides were level at the break, 3-3, after Rory Scannell and Cathal Marsh exchanged penalties.
Rory opened the scoring after 26 minutes after Leinster prop Sean McCarthy was binned for a scrum infringement but the Leinster out-half kicked the sides level minutes later after Munster were pinged for not releasing.
Two attacking chances included both Munster wingers finding space out wide. In the opening quarter a surging Munster maul released Luke O’Dea down the right wing, and he was unlucky to gather his own chip through for a certain try.
While on the opposite side Ronan O’Mahony broke away after 35 minutes when the ball was moved through the backs with O’Mahony sprinting for the line only to be bundled in to touch by Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy.
After the break O’Driscoll introduced Eusebio Guinazu for his first appearance in a Munster jersey since joining the province in late September.
Scannell’s boot kicked Munster ahead with a second penalty minutes into the second half before the Munster scrum once again initiated the next attacking opportunity.
In securing the scrum penalty inside our half David Johnston’s long range kick set Munster up for the attacking 5m lineout. The ball was spread wide before the pack regrouped and powered towards the Leinster line with Shane Buckley claiming the first try of the afternoon. Rory added the extras to extend Munster’s lead to ten points.
The academy centre was instrumental in the build-up to the next try when he gathered the Leinster spilled ball and passed it out to Luke O’Dea who misfired the kick ahead, but luckily when it rebounded off the Leinster defence Scannell was on hand to gather and fire the ball out to O’Dea again who crossed over unopposed for Munster’s second try.
Scannell was wide with the touchline conversion leaving Munster 18-3 up with 20 minutes to play.
Leinster closed out the game with a final score in the 75th minute when Ross Byrne touched down after a period of sustained pressure on the Munster line but O’Driscoll’s charges survived the late surge and the game ended 18-8 in Munster’s favour.