Lansdowne's Clive Ross and Jordi Murphy with Barry Keeshan of Dolphin. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Star Studded

Ulster Bank League: Lansdowne unleash provincial stars to go top

Mike Ruddock’s side destroyed Dolphin while Young Munster handed Old Belvedere a heavy loss.

ONE PLAYER HAS played in a Heineken Cup Final while the other is enjoying a breakthrough season for the European champions – both combined to help Lansdowne go top of the Ulster Bank League.

Scrum-half John Cooney and loose forward Jordi Murphy were on the scoresheet with tries for Lansdowne as they defeated Dolphin 37-7 on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium.

Mike Ruddock’s side, who reached the league summit with the bonus point win, also featured Connacht’s Kyle Tonetti at outside centre and Tom Sexton and Jack O’Connell, who have both appeared for the Leinster senior team this season.

Rory Scannell put Dolphin ahead with a well-worked try after a lineout but Lansdowne struck back through Mark Roche.

Cooney, who has four Leinster starts this season, scored the first of his two tries before Willie Earle stretched the home side’s lead.

Lansdowne were 20-7 up at the break but had to reshuffle after Murphy and Dolphin forward Miah Cronin were both sin-binned after an off-the-ball scuffle.

Jordi Murphy and Ryan Murphy of Dolphin clash. (©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

The 14-a-side went in Lansdowne’s favour with Cooney getting his second try and the returning Murphy sliding over for his side’s fifth try.

Craig Ronaldson added the conversion to improve Lansdowne’s points-scoring difference to +119.

Young Munster win again

Young Munster, who beat Lansdowne last time out, continued their winning ways by sweeping aside Old Belvedere 40-3 at Tom Clifford Park.

Darragh O’Neill crossed for two tries while Brian Haugh, with four penalties and four conversions, kicked 20 points in the comfortable home win that sees the Limerick side climb to third in the table.

Second place Garryowen were indebted to tryscorers Rory Brosnan and Ronan O’Mahony in a 20-14 win over Cork Constitution at Temple Hill.

2012 champions St Mary’s recorded their third win of the season as they easily overcame Clontarf, the team they beat into second, 16-3 at Templeville Road.

Winger Darragh Fanning profited from some nifty play by scrum-half Matthew D’Arcy to opening the scoring for his side, with the rest of the points coming from the placed ball.

Shannon won the battle of the league’s basement sides. Johnny Sherin scored a crucial try at the Thomond Park fixture and steady kicking contributions from Rob Guerin and Tadhg Bennett saw the visitors home, 16-8, against U.L Bohemian.

Division 1B results

Ballymena 9-9 Dungannon; Bruff 3-6 Blackrock College; Beccaneers 25-20 UCD; Dublin University 16-20 Belfast Harlequins; Malone 15-15 Ballynahinch.

Heineken Cup: Leinster hopeful on returns for Strauss and Nacewa

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