Sunday, November 04, 2018

Southern Kings 31-38 Leinster

With both Leinster & Ireland in action this weekend, I'm trying something different with this writeup. Laptop at the ready I'm going to jot down "real time" observations so here goes…

Pre match thoughts

In my preview I said I want five match points regardless of the winning margin. This goes against the grain of my usual preference for a good defensive effort, but I guess in this case I'm making allowances for an extremely untried 10/12/13 channel so if we can get the job done with the ball I'll be a happy camper.

Watching the eir Sport build up now, and apparently conditions are very windy in Port Elizabeth so there's an even bigger challenge ahead for this young matchday squad.

0-10 minutes

Nice offload gives Kings a good exit, DK under pressure back at his 22 but he tidies. JGP box kick finds touch, decent result for the Kings

TRY KINGS - Du Toit stab through, Adam Byrne can't deal with it, Penxe scores. Banda conversion wide in the wind. 3m 5-0

Kings still looking to exit from restart but they knock on,, first attacking set piece for Leinster outside Kings 22. Penalty won, kick to touch.

Lineout stolen by Astle and they win a penalty as they exit, then another at halfway for offside. Lineout to come a 22. Free kick v Leinster at lineout, quick tap.

Scrum half coughs up the ball, JGP clears. Fardy jackles a pen at halfway, TMO spots a no arms tackle by Deegan so it's another penalty to the Kings

10-20 minutes

Leavy forces a knock on in the tackle, scrum to Leinster, Deegan keeps it in for pen but Leinster play on deep into Kings 22 they recover. Exit kick retrieved by Kings, back on front foot.

Possession back and forth including Leavy steal.

TRY Leinster Reid kicks through, Adam Byrne touches down after he and O’Loughlin recover. Reid has a decent go at kick but it goes wide. 5-5 16m

Leinster penalty at midfield after decent exit set. Reid to touch in 22. Another lineout goes wrong, Kings recover and clear. And ANOTHER Leinster lineout is lost, Kings back on attack.

Kings get to 22 but ROL jackles a penalty.

20-30 minutes

Kings captain complaining about the gap at lineouts?

Short Leinster lineout won, pen advantage at midfield, then a second in Kings half for high tackle. Good Red kick finds touch at 5m line.

Short lineout, phases at line, TMO to check Tracy knock on. No try, but no arms tackle also spotted so penalty to Leinster, Fardy calls a scrum.

Penalty Try Leinster big shove at scrum, well held in by Deegan. Ref goes under posts. 24m 5-12

Astle thought he had intercept try but ref playing pen advantage, yellow card to van Greeff running into scrum half's line.

Leinster win another pen at the scrum, Reid quick tap but it's knocked on by COB at halfway.

Great steal by Leavy after scrum but Fardy knocks on. ROL down injured, leg injury, Tom Daly on. Leinster win another pen at the scrum, another yellow card this time to loose head, Reid misses touch

30 minutes - halftime

Leinster pinged off feet at breakdown at 22.

After lineout Deegan rips it free forcing knockon

Try Kings, JGP throws intercept by to SK9 ran in after scrum, Banda kicks conversion 12-12

Reid kicks restart straight into touch, Kings take lineout

Try Leinster JGP goes over after Leinster finally string some passes together with 2 extra men. TMO checking but it's OK. DK started the move. Tomane off as Reid kicks a superb conversion 37m 12-19

38m Levy try charge down by Ed Byrne, heads up offload, bonus point in the bag. Reid kicks conversion 12-26

39m Deegan taken out after fly hack, another yellow card this time against SK7, penalty in front to Leinster, scrum option taken.

40m try Deegan, simple move off scrum. Reid converts, simple kick in front halftime 12-33

Halftime thoughts

Remember how I said I didn't care about our defence? That's why you should never listen to me! That's what kept us in it as we seemed to go out of our way to waste scoring opportunities.

In fairness the wind is at (or possibly beyond) the worst Galway levels so that's a lot for a patchwork XV to deal with but without the ball we recovered well from that Adam Byrne stumble and the only way the Kings were able to come at us since then was when we literally gave it to them.

And we did well to fix the lineout woes, credit probably goes to Fardy to opting for throws to 1 which did the trick. Now we need to bring the 5 points home. Of course a massive winning margin would be nice but surely containment against the wind is the most important thing.

40-50 minutes

Decent exit kick by JGP off kickoff.

Cob steal but needless blind offload by Deegan leads to another intercept try for SK9 Ungerer (again with 13 men v our 15). Banda kicks conversion 19-33 44m

Doris on for Deegan. Reid called in touch but Fardy steals it back.

Clever stab forward by Reid after 16 phases but Kings clear. Phases from lineout but Frawley runs into own player at 22 as teams back to full strength

DK runs it well into 22 but Leinster isolated and penalty won

50-60 minutes

Short lineout botched but Leinster knockon so scrum to SK.

Another Fardy steal but we give it back yet SK kicks out on the full, lineout to Leinster at halfway. Front row gets swapped by Leinster

Good maul by Leinster and pen adv. Nice offloading gets to line, adv over, another pen for offside under posts. Leinster take scrum, another pen adv coming (not driving straight), ball knocked on. Another scrum taken under posts. SK hooker off for HIA.

Ref shouts use several times Deegan and JGP can't sort themselves out, scrum to SK. Massive clearance by Banda.

60-70 minutes

Another good maul, nice pop pass from Reid,

Several phases in 22 but it ends up as scrum to Leinster. With pen adv Daly on crash ball, BByrne try. Reid conversion goes wide 19-38 64m

Leinster gather restart no mean feat. Fardy has it stolen at 22, concedes pen, lineout to SK 10m out

Lineout botched, JGP clears. 6 phases at midfield, Leinster almost steal but knock on

70 minutes-fulltime

Leinster force another steal at 22, JGP clears

71m try Kings, good break into 22, Mguca goes over. Banda misses kick, 24-38 73m

Kings knock on in 22 trying to exit

Some lucky wayward passes get retrieved but Leinster keep going and are denied try in corner, TMO checking knock on. Deliberate knockon, not PT, yellow card and penalty. Scrum called. Penalty awarded to King's at scrum

Superb team try from deep in own 22, 19 got the finish under posts 31-38. Leinster's till have to kickoff

81 Kings tried one last time but SK20 pinged going off his feet

Full Time thoughts

"Had an hour to think about it" thoughts…

Thoughts no different really...the system errors were frustrating throughout but we've played like this man's a time over the years and ended up losing because the leaders we'd be relying on wouldn't step up and that's what made the difference for us.

After a succession of line out fails, Scott Fardy called a couple to the front and they worked.  Also Ross Molony took some confident lineout catches in the second half.  A break from Dave Kearney reignited our attack after a long lull.  Dan Leavy was at his usual poach hungry best but he was far from the only one who got in on the jackling action.  I actually thought we were pretty good defensively - two of the Kings tries were interceptions when we had the ball.

Conor O'Brien showed flashes of what he can bring...he definitely needs some game time and I think it would do his confidence good to start against the Ospreys at the end of the month.

Speaking of the road ahead for Leinster, for all our concerns over this performance we have to take a step back and look at the big picture.

We have played 8, won 7, and we have a NINE point lead at the top of Conference B plus a massive edge in the points difference column (89 over the Scarlets, the only other team in the conference with a plus figure).  I'm pretty sure it's OK to feel good about that scenario.

Plus there's the fact that 5 of our 8 matches so far were away from home, which means that of the 13 we have left, EIGHT of them are at the RDS.

That's a glass more than half full, yes?

Let's just say I'm happy enough as I switch to green jersey from blue for a few weeks!

Speaking of which, we'll do a more traditional Harpin writeup for the Italy match on Monday.  JLP

Other full-time thoughts from around Facebook and Twitter

Diarmuid Marrinan Always great to see the broader squad in action. Made it harder than it possibly needed to be, especially Kings played about 70 minutes with around 7 players due to the amount of yellow cards they were shipping! Couple injuries too - Tomane & O'Loughlin not great facing into next week, a fixture we lost last year! That said - try bonus win, well done boys!

Martin Loughrey All very well to have an away BP win but leaking 5 tries in any game is bad. But against the Kings it's unacceptable. Can't help but feel the result would have been very different if they had any level of discipline. Still, a win is a win and a nice stretch at the top.of the conference.

Reenen Stenekamp Kings discipline was their undoing. That said, Leinster were full value.

Richard Mifsud I could just say it will be a very tough flight home and nobody will want to sit next to the coaches πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. It seems ridiculous to heavily criticise an away BPW but the fact is that any decent opposition would've creamed us today and they had 5 yellows 😳. Weather apart, lack of cohesion, poor and loose handling, trying too hard at times, poor decision making, forcing play...I'll stop now. The old heads didn't act like old heads and the young guns didn't really do themselves many favours. Ed Byrne, Scott Fardy and Leafy the pick of the bunch IMO. To put things into perspective it's still 5 match points, we move on and hopefully the coaches will mold this bunch into a cohesive unit. Anyway #COYBIB

Colm Cunningham 4 props deep at loosehead and in any other era Dooley would be an international. Shows the depth we have there. Reid at 10 didn't show a whole lot. Very loose in open play.

Andrew Loughlin A lot of our issues stemmed from the complete lack of control Noel Reid provided at 10, missed touches at least 2 and taking the wrong option on multiple occasions doesn’t help the rhythm of the team.


Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019