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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Leinster v Southern Kings

Andrew Lawton 22 Feb 2018
Yaw Penxe, Southern Kings

Conference B leaders Leinster welcome Southern Kings to the RDS Arena on Friday night looking to strengthen their case for a spot in the Guinness PRO14 Finals Series.

Their South African opponents are still searching for their first win of the campaign and were beaten 31-10 last time the two sides met in September.

What’s at stake?

Leinster are three points clear of Scarlets at the summit of Conference B and can use their Friday night fixture to move even further in front , if only temporarily.

More importantly, it’ll be another step towards the Guinness PRO14 Final Series for the Irish province with top spot earning the Conference winners an automatic home semi-final.

Southern Kings meanwhile are 13 points adrift at the foot of the league standings with a win enabling them to close the gap to the Dragons.

Team news (Leinster):

Ciaran Frawley will make his first Guinness PRO14 start on Friday night at fly-half having made his debut off the bench against the Scarlets last week.

And there’s plenty of experience outside him with captain Isa Nacewa set for his 180th appearance while Dave Kearney earns his 120th cap at full-back.

Garry Ringrose begins his return from an ankle injury which has seen him on the sidelines since January with twins Ed and Bryan Byrne partnering up in the front row.

Team news (Southern Kings):

Anthonie Volmink returns to the left wing allowing Michael Makase to shift back to his more favoured position on the right wing and Yaw Penxe switches to full-back.

Man of the match against Ospreys last weekend Andisa Ntsila moves from flanker to No.8 with Eital Bredenkamp stepping into the six jersey.

Talking points

“We have a lot of players unavailable to us and a number of injuries as well. I think it’s a great window,” said Leo Cullen.

“For us, as a coaching team, I think it’s important that we demonstrate an element of bravery as well with selections at different times of the year.

“We’ve maybe come under a little bit of scrutiny for some selections over the years. We want to make sure guys are pushing through.

“When a guy comes out of the academy for his first game, he’s got to get to 50 caps somehow.”

Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids added: “They are a very good team and we will need to be organised on defence against them.

“It’s also important that we try and play the game in the right areas and clinical in using our opportunities when we get quality ball.”

Key battle – Dave Kearney v Yaw Penxe

Penxe was on the right wing for the Kings 26-12 defeat to Ospreys last week but reverts to full-back this weekend for the trip to Dublin.

He is the Kings leading try scorer with five in the Guinness PRO14 to date but comes up against the experienced Kearney on Friday night.

Kearney has well over 100 caps for the Leinstermen and scored a try against the Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium back in September.

Key stat: The Leinstermen have not been defeated at home in a regular season Championship fixture for over three years, when Dragons were the visitors.

Did you know? Leinster’s only defeat in any tournament since early November was 24-29 at Edinburgh in round 14 of the Guinness PRO14.

Leinster: Dave Kearney, Barry Daly, Garry Ringrose, Isa Nacewa, James Lowe, Ciarán Frawley, Nick McCarthy, Ed Byrne, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent, Mick Kearney, Ian Nagle, Josh Murphy, Will Connors, Max Deegan

Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Adam Coyle, Ross Molony, Peadar Timmins, Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Jordan Larmour

Southern Kings: Yaw Penxe, Michael Makase, Berton Klaasen, Luzuko Vulindlu, Anthonie Volmink, Martin Du Toit, Rowan Gouws, Schalk Ferreira, Michael Willemse, Pieter Scholtz,  Stephan Greeff, Arthur De Wee, Eital Bredenkamp, Martinus Burger, Andisa Ntsila

Replacements: Stephan Coetzee, Johan Smith, Luvuyo Pupuma, Lindokuhle Welemu, Ruaan Lerm, Juan-Phillip Smith, Barend Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Nel

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU, 14th competition game)

AR1: Rhys Thomas (WRU)

AR2: Ken Imbusch (IRFU)

TMO: TG4 & SuperSport

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Frawley sparkles as ruthless Leinster brush aside Southern Kings

Charlie Peat 23 Feb 2018

Ciaran Frawley put in a scintillating performance as Leinster strengthened their grip at the top of Conference B with a 10-try victory over the Southern Kings.

The Irish province took another giant stride towards the Guinness PRO14 Final Series as Bryan Byrne, Nick McCarthy and Barry Daly all ran riot against the South Africans.

Leinster, whose only defeat in any tournament since early November was 29-24 at Edinburgh in Round 14, started like an express train against the Kings and scored the game’s opening try after only three minutes through Bryan Byrne.

A bustling break from Byrne was not stifled by the South Africans, with Frawley adding the extras off the tee.

At this stage the Southern Kings must have been fearing the worst; considering the Leinstermen have not been defeated at home in a regular season Championship fixture for over three years, when Dragons were the visitors.

And it got worse on 10 minutes as Nick McCarthy darted into space and scored Leinster’s second try, with Frawley again putting over the conversion as Southern Kings looked vulnerable in defence.

Just as it looked like a one-sided affair, the Kings dug deep and on 15 minutes Mikey Willemse notched for the South Africans after a brilliant lineout maul, with Martin de Toit further adding to the scoreboard.

The game was proving end-to-end and Leinster didn’t take long to extend their lead again as Daly squeezed over in the corner for his side’s third score on 19 minutes.

Just three minutes later Leinster claimed their try bonus point as Dave Kearney finished a wonderful move by the home side on 22 minutes.

It got worse for the South Africans before the break as Byrne scored his second try of the game, with Frawley again deadly off the tee.

And it was a first start and a first senior try for Frawley before the break as the Leinster player touched down before converting his own score to leave it at 40-7 at the interval.

Leinster started the second half as they had the first and McCarthy scored his second try of the game on 47 minutes, spotting some space and darting through for a score – with Frawley again adding the extras.

Pieter Scholtz was sin-binned for the Southern Kings on 52 minutes for a high tackle as Leinster started to turn the screw.

And the man advantage assisted Leinster just seconds later as James Lowe captured a cross-field kick to bring up his side’s half century, with Frawley again nailing his kick at goal.

Leinster created an overlap on 66 minutes as Daly crossed for his second score of the night to extend the home side’s lead to 57-7.

Jordan Larmour ensured the scoring frenzy continued after 75 minutes taking advantage of a handling error, with Frawley – instrumental throughout and named man-of-the-match for Leinster – notching his kick at goal to seal a comprehensive win.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start from just €35 for adults and €10 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138