Monday, September 30, 2019

Online comments after Benetton v Leinster

A selection of the “keyboard warrior” reactions after the full-time whistle of our featured matches of the weekend.

If you’d like to contribute stay tuned to
our Facebook page for our “Feel free to leave your thoughts…” posts which show up around full time after Leinster & Ireland matches.

Ciarán Duffy I had earmarked this game as Leinster’s most difficult during the World Cup period.  Based on the game itself I would call it 5 points that will be very valuable at the end of the season, as it doesn’t seem like a lot of teams will take the maximum away from the Italians when visiting.  

Leinster ultimately won 27 – 32, and the close scoreline tells the story of the game.  Benetton well and truly earned their bonus point.  It was Leinster who started the better, Ross Byrne kicked an early penalty, then added the conversion when Adam Byrne crossed the line for his 100th Leinster points.  It was a very bright start for the boys in blue.  

The ball going over the bar for that Adam Byrne conversion seemed to wake up Benetton.  They suddenly came out of the blocks and got two firsts.  Appiah got his first try in his Benetton career, and then a familiar face in Keatley kicked his first points for the Italians with the conversion.  Keatley was very much the experience in this Benetton team and played well in the first half.  

As soon as things were level, Benetton went in front.  Baravalle (a name I’m very surprised I spelled correctly out of my head when taking notes) touched down off the back of a maul.  Keatley converted, Benetton led 14 – 10.  It was all Benetton and maybe it showed that this is still very much a project in it’s early days that they couldn’t add any more scores during their time on top.  It could’ve been a 7-point gap had Keatley’s penalty gone the ride side of the crossbar.  

As champions often do, Leinster scored a try at a key time.  Dave Kearney just about made it over the line to edge Leinster in front, Ross Byrne adding the extras just about.  Those were Kearney’s 150th Leinster points, and there’s be more to come.  

Benetton started brightly, kicking a penalty to level things up.  Things took a sudden turn when Ratuva Tavuyara caught Kearney in the air.  The TMO deemed it was dangerous and would’ve been worse if Kearney had of had his hands out.  The tackle resulted in a red card.  This is part of a new directive, we’ll see a lot more of those.  Benetton will possibly feel aggrieved by the fact there isn’t yet a precedent for these cards yet.  I’d hope the rule is put into practice consistently, an not just for decisions in favour of the big teams.  

Kearney got over once again from the resulting lineout to make it 17 – 22, the conversion missed by Byrne.  Benetton were spurred on and got a reward through a penalty from Keatley, and a try from Sperandio, who came on as a result of the red card.  Keatley converted, Ross Moloney went off injured, things were suddenly looking good for the men in green.  

Leads don’t tend to last when playing against Leinster with a man less, and this one only lasted 5 minutes.  Kearney completed his hattrick, Byrne landed a difficult conversion to nudge Leinster in front.  Harry Byrne then came on for his debut, he slotted in at outhalf in place of older brother Ross.  The younger Byrne kicked his first points for the senior team to push the gap out to 5.  Benetton kept up the pressure late on, but could not get what they possibly deserved from the game.  

Dave Kearney was playing like a man with a chip on his shoulder reminding him that he was in the last World Cup squad ad wants to get back to international rugby.  He’d be a good bet for Leinster’s top try scorer this season if he avoids injury.  

Benetton could once again be a team to watch this year.  They are in what I would call the easier of the two conferences.  It won’t be uncompetitive, Munster will be favourites and Scarlets, Edinburgh, and Connacht will all compete.  That means Benetton are one of 5 teams going for three play-off places, or one of 3 automatic European spots and one play-off.  Benetton will prove to be a big test in Europe, they have a good record in recent years in the RDS.  

As for Leinster, I’d hope they can make the most of the next few games, because things get tricky, as I wrote, after the World Cup.  

Martin Loughrey Good result. Benetton have come a long way in the last few seasons. Thought I was going to have the auld heart broken twice in one day! The red card probably saved our blushes. (And in fairness I thought the red was a bit harsh)

Conor Cronin Glad to see a positive start to the league. Not pretty and treviso were really up for it, but take the win and get home and prepped for next week

Andrew Byrne Taking 5 points away to Benetton is a great start to the season. This was always going to be a tough first fixture. Glad to see player in the air being protected, the sport has to punish chasers who ignore their duty of care.

Gerald Williamson A hard fought win. Nice hat trick for Dave Kearney. Good to see new faces/young guns taking their chances.

Paul Smith A really hard fought win against a very impressive Benneton team. The red card was probably the thing that swung it for Leinster but they showed great grit and determination to grind out a very nice BP win.

Dave Murray Great 5 points against a tough opponent to set us nicely with 2 home games coming up.

Henry Sellars Brill. Good on Donkey Kong with the Treble. Might be called up yet...(ahem)

I didn't do a "Harpin tweet" at fulltime because I was watching in The Bridge pub and my phone battery had died - full writeup to come on Tuesday.  

Many thanks to all who offered opinions.

Look out Monday for our match writeup JLP


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