The Connacht Eagles, sponsored by NUI Galway, registered another impressive win on the road this season with a 43 – 24 win over Leinster ‘A’ at Donnybrook this afternoon.

The four tries came from Ciaran Gaffney, Ronan Loughney, George Naoupu and Niyi Adoelokun. Academy outhalf Conor McKeon kicked 23 points (four cons; 5 pens).

Fullback Ciaran Gaffney opened the scoring after 10 minutes, when he broke from the hosts’ 10m line to touch down. Academy outhalf, who had a successful evening from the kicking tee, kicked the first conversion.

Leinster hit back almost immediately with a try of their own from Tom Daly, the inside centre brushing off two tackles to score at the post pads. Their own outhalf Ross Byrne added the two-points.

McKeon had a chance to put his side ahead after 17 minutes but his attempt, albeit from a difficult angle, shaved the left upright – the only one he would miss all evening. But he was up to the tee five minutes later when a well worked maul saw prop Ronan Loughney, on his return from injury, ground the ball over the line and McKeon kicked the extras.

By the half hour mark, Leinster had brought it back to level scoring when scrum half Charlie Rock crossed for the converted try.

Half time: Leinster ‘A’ 17 – 17 Connacht Eagles

The hosts got on the board first after the break and a rolling maul allowed flanker Peadar Timmins get the score and put his side in the lead for the first time. Ross Byrne kicked another conversion.

But three minutes later, the Eagles were celebrating their own score after a 5 metre scrum saw today’s captain George Naoupu reach his arm out for the third try. McKeon converted again to make it 24-all and he kicked his side into a three-point lead when Leinster were penalised for a ruck infringement.

The Eagles dominated for most of the last quarter and McKeon added three more penalties to put the game out of Leinster’s reach. With three minutes remaining, the Eagles were nine points ahead but were forced to defend in the dying minutes. A brilliant turnover in his own 22 and Niyi Adoelokun was fed the ball to run the length of the pitch and score the last try of the game, which McKeon duly converted.

Full time: Leinster ‘A’ 24 – 43 Connacht Eagles 


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