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Keenan's late try seals pre-season win for Leinster in Canada

Leo Cullen’s side made it two pre-season wins from two in Hamilton this evening.

Max Deegan scored three of Leinster's six tries.
Max Deegan scored three of Leinster's six tries.
Image: Leinster Rugby/Sportsfile

Canada 35 

Leinster 38 

HUGO KEENAN MADE his return from injury to score the winning try as Leinster defeated Canada in a high-scoring and competitive pre-season friendly at Tim Hortons Field in Ontario.

Ireland sevens international Keenan, who is just back after knee ligament damage, scored with the last play of the game to snatch victory for the province as they made it two pre-season wins from two. 

Leo Cullen’s side scored six tries but had to conjure a late salvo to avoid defeat to World Cup-bound Canada, who had bounced back after a slow start.

Max Deegan set the visitors on their way with an early try before the Byrne brothers combined for Leinster’s second score, with hooker Bryan dotting down to punish some loose Canadian play.

The Pro14 champions extended their lead shortly after when Caelan Doris broke off the back of the scrum and fed Deegan for his second try of the afternoon, but Canada finished the opening 40 strongly.

Second row Evan Olmstead got the hosts on the board before the break and then further tries from Tyler Ardron and Pat Parfrey, both of which were converted by former Ulster man Peter Nelson, put Canada in front for the first time.

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Leinster appeared to regain control of the game through Deegan’s hat-trick score and Josh Murphy but when replacement out-half Harry Byrne saw his attempted clearance blocked down by Kyle Baillie for a seven-pointer, Cullen’s side were facing defeat.

But after strong work by the forwards, Byrne fed Keenan from five metres out to ride two tackles for a TMO-awarded try to give Leinster victory after a valuable work-out in Hamilton.

Cullen’s side finalise their preparations for the new season with a third friendly against Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens on 12 September.  

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