I had a great time at the Leinster game against Edinburgh! It was at the RDS and I went with my uncle Frank. It was a hard fought match, which Leinster won, 39-10 at the end.
On paper, it looked a straight win for Leinster. We were 3rd in the table, while Edinburgh were 9th. Leinster had won 12 out of 15 games in the Pro12 so far this year, while Edinburgh had only won 4.
Also, Leinster had won 5 out of the last 6 contests between the 2 sides. Leinster had won their last 18 home games and Edinburgh hadn’t won a game in Dublin since 2005! The odds were stacked against them.
Still, Edinburgh put in a strong performance in the 1st half and kept Leinster struggling for a lead. Ironically, it was after the break, when Leinster had a very disjointed back-line, that we started to get a grip on the game.
It was a bit like Ireland’s game against Australia in the November series. Joey Carbery, who started at no.10, moved to full back, with Ross Byrne coming on as replacement out-half.
Jamison Gibson-Park came on as replacement scrum-half, with Luke McGrath moving to the wing. Zane Kirchner moved from full-back to centre , to be partnered with Adam Byrne. Only Barry Daly, left-wing, finished the game in the same position he started.
It was a very attritional game, with a lot of injuries. My friend Jim McShane, who’s the Leinster, and Ireland, team doctor was kept very busy all night.
Both David Kearney, who was making his return to the side after a long layoff, and Josh Van der Flier had to go off. Van der Flier’s injury looked worrying for Ireland.
There was also a change in the forwards, with George Turner, replacement hooker, coming on to play at flanker. It all got a bit confusing. Still, the revamped side played very well in the end.
It was difficult for Leinster in the early going. Most of the top team were been rested for Ireland’s game against France and the side took a while to gel. They did well to keep Edinburgh from scoring after more than 10 minutes of sustained pressure.
Duncan Weir was the only Edinburgh player of note and he had a relatively quiet game, despite scoring all of Edinburgh’s points, with a goal (try and conversion) and a penalty. The Scotland no.10 failed to really control the game.
Overall, it was a very good performance by Leinster. Joey Carbery had a great game, as starting out-half and as replacement full back! He scored a brace of tries on his first match back since December.
He looks like a real star and will probably soon leap frog Paddy Jackson to become Ireland’s replacement out-half. His place kicking wasn’t great, though.
It was a great evening. During the interval, they showed some girl’s mini-rugby, with Greystones being one of the teams that featured. Leinster women had won the interprovincial trophy and paraded the trophy around the stadium.
A great evening out. Thanks again, Frank