Another memorable day for Ireland in Soldier Field in Chicago as they beat Conor O’Shea’s injury stricken Italy 54-7. It was Rhys Ruddock’s 5th win as Irish captain and his hard working performance epitomised everything that is good about this Irish squad. Garry Ringrose looked threatening from the start with a fantastic inside break that almost led to a try in the 1st minute. He was busy throughout creating in attack but his assured defensive display in the 13 channel doesn’t get the credit it deserves. In attack he set Larmour away for his second try and minutes later he finished his own try with a great outside break. Andrew Conway had an assured performance under the high ball and put in some very clever kicks, he was always looking to get involved. Andrew Porter plays like an experienced prop, solid in the set-piece, big ball carrier and hard-working and clever decision maker in defence. Jordi Murphy got more valuable game time and continues to add to Schmidt’s selection headache in the back-row.
It was a huge performance for some of the Munster young guns as they defeated the Cheetahs 30-26. It was a first PRO14 start for Fineen Wycherley & Bill Johnson but you couldn’t tell that from their performance. Johnson started brightly pinning the Cheetahs back in their own half and controlling the game, he also added some lovely touches like the skip pass for Coombe’s try. Wycherley showed his versatility by playing in the back-row and he look well suited to this position. A commanding performance from a young player. Darren O’Shea continues to go about his business and produced another solid performance in the second row. Duncan Williams came on in the 55th minute and continued to drive the Munster game.
Also in South Africa, Leinster defeated the Southern Kings 38-31. James Tracy brought all his experience to this game and was instrumental in early pressure on the Kings. He was just denied a try in the early exchanges but Leinster were awarded a penalty try from a subsequent scrum. Tom Daly was introduced to the game on the 29th minute and got involved immediately with some clever angled runs and off-loads that created opportunities for others. Noel Reid produced a mature performance at 10 and added 3 conversions and 1 penalty to the Leinster score-board. Ross Molony was a powerhouse in the pack, taking control at lineout time and producing a busy performance. Caelan Doris was introduced to the game on the 43rd minute and showed how comfortable he is at this level. Bryan Byrne came on 53rd minute and was awarded a try ten minutes later.
Connacht 33-12 Dragons. Darragh Leader was a late replacement to earn his first start of the season and he followed this with his first try of the season. Sean O’Brien produced another Man of the Match performance with his all action display.
Ulster produced a good second half performance to beat Benetton 15-10. Marty Moore has settled in well to the Ulster pack and got another good 63 minutes game time. Nick Timoney showed a full range of his athleticism as he played the full game. Greg Jones entered the game on the 63rd minute to clock up some more valuable game time.
Jersey Reds had a huge 17-14 win over league leaders London Irish. Captain Jerry Sexton was to the fore in this attritional game. While Jersey scored the try of the weekend at any level, it was the strength of their defence, led by Sexton that grinded out this win.
Joy Neville was back in AIL action, taking charge of Terenue v DUFC on Friday night in Lakelands.
Sinead Goldrick and her club Foxrock Cabinteely won the Leinster Senior Football Championship in impressive style defeating Sarsfield of Laois 4-11 to 1-8. While Fiona Coghlan and her club Clontarf GAA won the Leinster Intermediate Championship annihilating Naomh Ciaran from Offaly 5-13 to 2-8.