O'Brien suffers injury setback ... again

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 21:59
Large scarlets v leinster 800

PRO14 REPORT: Irish star Seán O'Brien's comeback from injury lasted less than half-an-hour.

The loose forward went off injured in the first half of Leinster's 10-all draw with Scarlets in the rescheduled match in Llanelli on Friday.

O'Brien, who captained Leinster on his return from a hip injury at Parc y Scarlets, left the field clutching his left arm.

* Meanwhile Leinster missed out on a first away-day win against the Scarlets since 2013, as a late penalty from Dan Jones earned the Scarlets a dramatic last-gasp draw.

The game was played in appallingly wet conditions, with Ed Byrne scoring Leinster's only try and Paul Asquith replying for Scarlets.

Ross Byrne thought he had won it late on for Leinster with a well-taken penalty, but Jones had the final say after a turnover in the final second of the game.

In a tight and tense affair, Leinster tried to run down the clock in their own 22 in the final minute of the game but referee Nigel Owens handed Scarlets a late penalty and Jones made no mistake.

The two Pro14 heavyweights of Conference B met in a rearranged fixture; following Storm Emma forcing Dublin Airport to close seven days previously.

In pouring rain, both sides cancelled each other out in the opening 25 minutes as the scoreboard showed no signs of moving.

With their first visit into the Leinster 22, Scarlets thought they had scored on 29 minutes, as Tom Williams produced some neat footwork to beat two defenders and touch down.

With the conversion about to be taken, the TMO stepped in and reviewed the grounding and on reflection referee Nigel Owens reversed his decision and chalked off the score.

Leinster started well after the break and an excellent Kearney kick through was collected by Ioan Nicholas but the Scarlets man was driven over his own line.

Following a period of sustained pressure Leinster finally scored the game's opening try as Ed Byrne burrowed over from close range, with Ross Byrne adding the extras to make the score 7-0.

Dan Jones then missed the opportunity to pull Scarlets back into the game as he pushed a penalty wide of the posts after 52 minutes.

Leinster then withstood 19 phases of Scarlets pressure on their own try line as the visitors produced a superb defensive effort.

Scarlets finally got on level terms as Asquith finished off a flowing home move on 64 minutes that was created following a powerful catch and drive and an initial break from Jonathan Evans.

Jones added the extras to make it 7-7.

Ross Byrne landed a crucial penalty after 72 minutes as he nudged Leinster back in front after a series of carries from the visitors.

Nick McCarthy then had a late score disallowed for Leinster after a charge down as Scarlets stayed in the game until the death.

New signing Tom Varndell nearly won it late on but couldn't collect the slippery ball but Scarlets earned a late reprieve as Jones struck from the tee to level things up.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Con: Jones
Pen: Jones

For Leinster:
Con: Byrne
Pen: Byrne


Scarlets: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Ioan Nicholas, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Steff Hughes (captain), 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Will Boyde, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Josh Helps, 20 Lewis Rawlins, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Ioan Hughes, 23 Tom Varndell.

Leinster: 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Barry Daly, 13 Rory O'Loughlin, 12 Noel Reid, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Nick McCarthy, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Seán O'Brien (captain), 6 Josh Murphy, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Ed Byrne.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Adam Coyle, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Charlie Rock, 22 Ciarán Frawley, 23 Adam Byrne.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Simon Rees (Wales)
TMO: Neil Hennessey (Wales)

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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 15 1 5 76
Munster 21 13 1 7 69
Cheetahs 21 12 0 9 63
Cardiff Blues 21 11 0 10 54
Ospreys 21 9 0 12 44
Connacht 21 7 0 14 39
Zebre 21 7 0 14 36
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 21 14 1 6 70
Scarlets 21 14 1 6 70
Edinburgh 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 12 2 7 62
Treviso 21 11 0 10 55
Dragons 21 2 2 17 20
Kings 21 1 0 20 11