The Duke scored five attempts, and recovered the Irishman after a poor start. Eventually, the possibility of overtaking fades
The Zebras were defeated on the first day of the United Rugby Championship against Leinster, and took two more points (29-33). With an astonishing performance of stubbornness and offensive vitality, the Dukes patiently got back on their feet after the first twenty minutes that seemed to possess only one master. In the final, the hosts also found themselves in the oval to attempt an unexpected possession, but without still being able to break through Leinster’s fragile defence.
In the first five minutes of the match, only Leinster plays. The Irish immediately went close to goal, save for not being able to crush the Zebra defense, then scoring with Luke McGrath at the end of a lengthy move inside the 22nd house.
After their first taste of their potential, Leinster gave more room to the zebras trying to maneuver and show something good in attack. Even when there seems to be some flash, the duchies easily get lost in some forward allowing the organized defense of the guests to work nimbly. Once the Irish re-emerge on offense, the music is very different and the offset difference between the two teams is very clear.
At 20 minutes, of touching 5 metres, for Leinster to go into goal is really simple: Ruddock zips off the blocks and shoots straight to Pierre Bruno, who couldn’t help but let the Irish winger pass for the second goal of the day. Six minutes later, Leinster could still score a huge goal from close range: the first attempt failed, but the referee punishes Sisi for a professional foul. But in the second touch, Leinster goes further with Ruddock to 0-21.
At the start of the second half, perhaps a slow Leinster stick ahead and allow the Zebras to have an interesting attacking platform in the Irish half. From the first stage, the Duke’s execution was perfect: Eden falls back to Bruno, who cuts inward from the right, also taking advantage of the race from fake runner by Cronje; The pavilion immediately serves Lucchin and for the Zebras the prairie is opened outside, tapped by Kriel with a goal simple in idea but perfect in achieving.
The pressure of the Zebras does not stop and in the 33rd minute the Duke is still walking in goal. This time it is a singles game by Pierre Bruno that makes the difference: presented to the winger by a soccer ball from Eden, winger O’Reilly gets past with a light kick and pulls the ball into goal. Eden doesn’t turn up until this time and the zebra, at 14, shortens to 10-21. The Zebras’ momentum doesn’t last long, however, as Leinster is lethal every time he appears inside 22 Italians: at 37′ Jason Jenkins wet his debut aiming for the bonus point with a pick and go, scoring 10-28.
the other half
In the second half, the Zebra controls possession and territory in the first ten minutes. With a good attitude, the Italians try to put the Irish defense in difficulty, and at 49′ they find the third goal: with a slightly unsuccessful movement inside 22 Ireland the ball reaches Simone Gesi, who collects an uncomfortable ball and exploits his greatness. Mathematical skills managed to beat Russell enough to break a corner (15-28).
The best team on the field in this second half is the home team, which appears in the 55th minute to the Lanfranchi fans and the brightest flashes Michael Bradley Zebras. The Dukes resume from their half and press the left side at Leinster, where Cook fishes well on Andreani’s lock in a hole Leinster left unguarded. Returning to center from the field, Eden threw MJ Pelser who literally passed over Jamie Osborne and went on to celebrate the fourth goal 22-28.
Leinster’s response was fierce this time. The Irish resume the topic of conversation and immediately crush the zebras within 22; The pressure finally leads to Dave Kearney’s fifth goal in the 60th minute, after a good mix between Ngatai and Byrne (22-33). Unlike on many other occasions, Zebras, however, remain in the entire game and changes from the bench do not reduce the intensity of the team. At 69 degrees, one newcomer lights up: Franco Smith Jr. finds a great running angle on a signal from Lucchin and goes on 29-33.
The inertia appears to be on the side of the Zebras who at 5′ from the finish would have possession inside the 22 Irish to try to overtake, but possession is lost in the breakdown. Against Leinster’s defense now more attentive, unlike in the rest of the game, Zebra ends up losing the oval again in the next action. For Leinster at that point managing the advantage becomes easier and the match ends at 29-33 for the Irish.
zebras 15 Richard Creel, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Eric Cronje, 12 Enrico Luchin, 11 Simon Jesse, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Tina Fox Matamoa, 7 MJ Pilser, 6 Luca Andriani, 5 Leonard Krumoff, 4 David Cisse, 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Jacques de Toit, 1 Paolo Bonfiglio
Available: 16 Luca Peggi, 17 Juan Petinari, 18 Mohamed Hassa, 19 Joshua Forno, 20 Guido Volpi, 21 Alessandro Fusco, 22 Franco Smith Jr.
Targets: Kriel 28′, Bruno 32, Gesi 49, Pelser 55, Smith jr 69′
Metamorphoses: Eden 55, 69
Leinster15 Max O’Reilly, 14 Rob Russell, 13 Jimmy Osborne, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Max Degan, 7 Scott Penny, 6 Reese Ruddock, 5 Jason Jenkins, 4 Ross Moloney 3 Michael Alatawa 2 Ronan Kelleher 1 Ed Burn
Available: 16 John Mackie, 17 Michael Milne, 18 Vakhtang Abduladze, 19 Brian Denny, 20 Alex Soroka, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Ciaran Frawley, 23 Will Connors
Mette: 5 McGrath, 20 Ruddock, 25 Ruddock, Jenkins 37′, Kearney 60
Shifts: Bern 5, 20, 25, 37, 60
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