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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Bad day for the provinces as Leinster, Munster and Connacht go down

Munster were heavily beaten in Anthony Foley’s first outing as coach.

Gloucester scored six tries in a 45-8 win over Munster.
Gloucester scored six tries in a 45-8 win over Munster.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IT COULDN’T HAVE been a worse first weekend of pre-season friendlies for the Irish provinces. Ulster lost 21-20 to Exeter at home last night and today it was the turn of the other three to take a beating.

Leinster travelled to Franklin’s Gardens to take on Northampton and found themselves 21-0 down at the half after Tom Stephenson, Kahn Fotuali’i and Luther Burrell scored tries for the home side.

Leinster battled back with tries from Cian Kelleher, Dan Leavy and Mick McGrath but two scores from George North sealed a 33-21 win for the Saints.

Connacht were in High Wycombe to take on Wasps in their first outing and had the best day of any Irish team, only losing by 10 in a 28-18 defeat. They were only 7-6 behind at the break after Ian Porter kicked two penalties either side of an Ashley Johnson try.

Danie Poolman scores his side's second try Danie Poolman scored a late try for Connacht in their 28-18 loss to Wasps. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Wasps quickly pulled away in the second half after another try by Johnson followed by further scores from James Gaskell and Tom Varndell. Eoin McKeown and Danie Poolman both touched down for Connacht.

Munster had a torrid time against Laurie Fisher’s Gloucester, shipping 45 points in an eventual 37-point loss. It was Anthony Foley’s first game in charge and his side were reasonably competitive in the first half, only going in 10-0 down after Gloucester were awarded a penalty try at the scrum.

However, there was a deluge in the second half, with tries from Billy Twelvetrees, Matt Kvesic (two) and Elliot Stooke (two) giving the Shed Heads a resounding 45-8 win to celebrate. Cian Bohane scored a late consolation try for Munster.

Julian Savea finished off this scintillating end-to-end try earlier

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