It was an entertaining match between Northampton and Leinster in Donnybrook on Friday evening, the result did not go with the home side but new boss Matt O’Connor will have gotten plenty of positives from the match.
Over 60 players featured in Northampton’s 8pt victory over Leinster on a scoreline 21-13, with Saints’s Lions duo George North and Alex Corbisiero the stars on show.
Ireland’s new head coach Joe Schmidt and team manager Mick Kearney were in the stands and they may not have learned a lot they did get to see Eoin Redden play and see an outstanding performance by Luke McGrath.
Matt O’Connor’s men took the lead with just five minutes on the clock with Lansdowne prop Martin Moore at the end of a powerful maul to the right of the Northampton posts, out-half Jimmy Gopperth kicked the conversion wide.
Gareth Denman, leveled up the match for Northampton before Gopperth restored the Leinster lead from a penalty which seen them go in 8-5 in front at half time. There were over 10 changes at half time so the second half was stop start but Leinster did show some very good defensive skills.
Manoa gave Northampton the lead for the first time after 50min and with Myler kicking the conversion and a 58th minute penalty, Leinster now found themselves 15-8 down.
It was all Northampon for the last twenty minutes and they got some reward with a Sam Olver penalty on 66min. The Saints did concede a late try with promising flanker Dan Leavy scoring after 79th minutes, but Northampton held on for a 18-15 victory.
Leinster scrum-half and former St. Michael’s College player Luke McGrath was the stand-out player for the home side and looks like a player that could make a huge impact this season.
Leinster – D Hudson (D Kearney); D Fanning (D Hudson 55), B Macken (T Daly 53), N Reid (C O’Shea 48) , S Coghlan-Murray (A Byrne 66); J Gopperth (C Marsh 62), L McGrath (E Reddan h-t); J McGrath (J O’Connell 53), A Dundon (S Cronin h-t (J Tracy 75)), M Moore (T Furlong 62); Q Roux (T Beirne 67), T Denton (B Marshall h-t); R Ruddock (L Auva’a h-t), S Jennings (D Leavy 57), J Murphy (D Ryan 55).
Northampton Saints – J Wilson (T Collins 60), K Pisi, G Pisi (T Stephenson 45), L Burrell (P Diggin 47), G North (J Elliott 51), S Myler (S Olver 60), L Dickson (R Glynn 63), A Corbisiero (A Waller 47), R McMillan (M Haywood h-t), G Denman (T Mercey h-t), C Lawes (J Day 61), S Manoa (J Craig 50), C Clark (T Wood 52), P Dowson, S Dickinson (C Day h-t).
REF – G Clancy (Munster)
|- Clermont Auvergne|
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