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Leinster Rugby vs Ospreys
Pro 14, Round 2
RDS Arena, Dublin
Friday, 4th October 2019, 19:35

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Leinster were obviously affected by events in Japan so much that they almost did their own tribute act.

After a very comfortable first twenty minutes they promptly threw away their lead. They then had a bit of a dogfight on their hands in what was admittedly a very entertaining game. They just did enough to come out on the right side of the result but Leo Cullen will be looking for more consistency in the next two weeks. Leinster have back to back Friday night games under lights at the RDS. Next week it's Edinburgh but first up is the Ospreys tomorrow evening.

The Ospreys were well beaten by Ulster last weekend and it's fair to say they're not a club on the up and up. Since winning the championship in 2012 they've failed to make the final and haven't made any impression on Europe either. The off the field debacle regarding their proposed merger with the Scarlets did not reflect well on the club either. At least they will compete in the Heineken Cup this season, which is something positive for coach Allan Clarke to focus on.

Clarke has named a decent looking team skippered by Dan Lydiate in the second row. Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross and Dan Baker make up a fine back row. There is also some quality in the backline too in Scott Williams and Keelan Giles. Cullen has named a team showing five changes from last week. Hugo Keenan, Fergus McFadden and James Lowe all return to form a brand new back three in an otherwise unchanged backline. In the pack there are two changes with Scott Fardy coming in to skipper the side from the second row and Josh Murphy taking the spot at blindside flanker. Rowan Osborne will make his debut off the bench if called upon.

With the weather forecast not that great, this could be a bit of a slog but Leinster should win comfortably enough.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Ospreys
Teams Hugo Keenan 15 Cai Evans
Fergus McFadden 14 Luke Morgan
Rory O'Loughlin 13 Scott Williams
Joe Tomane 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
James Lowe 11 Keelan Giles
Ross Byrne 10 Luke Price
Jamison Gibson-Park 9 Shaun Venter

Peter Dooley 1 Rhodri Jones
Ronan Kelleher 2 Sam Parry
Michael Bent 3 Tom Botha
Devin Toner 4 Dan Lydiate (C)
Scott Fardy (C)
5 Lloyd Ashley
Josh Murphy 6 Olly Cracknell
Will Connors 7 Sam Cross
Caelan Doris 8 Dan Baker

Replacements James Tracy 16 Scott Otten
Michael Milne 17 Gareth Thomas
Vakh Abdaladze 18 Gheorghe Gajion
Ross Molony 19 Ben Glynn
Max Deegan 20
Gareth Evans
Rowan Osborne 21 Matthew Aubrey
Harry Byrne 22 Tom Williams
Conor O'Brien 23 Hanno Dirksen

Not Considered
due to Injury
Dan Leavy,
Ciaran Frawley,
Barry Daly,
Ed Byrne,
Jack Conan

Gareth Anscombe,
Will Griffiths
Officials Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU),
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffigan (IRFU), Mark Patton (IRFU),
TMO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2019-10-03

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