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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Leinster's 'relentless' streak the key to win out west -- Murphy

The young back row claimed his second man-of-the-match in as many games tonight.

Murphy tackles by centurion Andrew Browne.
Murphy tackles by centurion Andrew Browne.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

FOR THE SECOND week in a row Jordi Murphy was ushered towards the television cameras to collect his man-of-the-match award after an inter-provincial win.

The 22- year-old was playing out of position, but formed a vital role in Leinster’s recovery from a precarious 8 – 3 half-time deficit against Connacht.

Jimmy Gopperth would either kick or assist all 13 points that went the visitors’ way in the second half, but it was Leinster’s dominance in open play, particularly at the breakdown, which laid the platform for the Kiwi to strike.

“I’m just happy to be getting  a run of games under my belt,” Murphy responded to TG4′s congratulations on his latest match gong. The back row is trained to Leinster standards off as well as on the field and quickly passed on the praise he was dealt – notably to the more natural openside he had kept out of the starting line-up tonight.

“I thought it was a one to 15 performance there and when the subs came on they did a great job as well – like Dominic Ryan’s steal at the end was vital. He was just one of a number of players that came on and did a job for us, I just thought it was a great team effort overall.”

His head coach would at least half agree with that. Matt O’Connor praised his side’s approach in the second half  after ‘losing shape’ for Fionn Carr’s breakaway try which had been the difference after 40 minutes.

The second period saw Leinster become more patient in possession, confident that their literal weight and international quality would eventually punch a hole in Pat Lam’s young Connacht side.

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“Running down the hill with a slight breeze we were confident. We just had to look after the ball better, play in the right areas and back our execution - ”"They were always going to be very committed, they made us work for everything and it was  good we held our bottle and got the result at the death.”

Murphy echoes his coaches sentiment that Leinster’s half-time dressing room had been a relatively calm one at the break  and added that the group just reminded themselves of one of their trigger words.

“One of our mottos is that we want to be relentless, we want to hold onto the ball. I’m just delighted for the boys, delighted we scored that try.”

“It was a seriously tough game, they drove us to the very end. Just happy with the lads, we dug deep and got the reward.”

That reward for Murphy and Leinster is that they have closed the gap on league leaders Munster, who last night lost to Ulster, to just three points.

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Sean Farrell

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