Josh plays his part

Flanker prom­i­nent in Le­in­ster’s win

Wexford People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN FUR­LONG Sports re­porter

EN­NIS­COR­THY’S JOSH Mur­phy con­trib­uted hand­somely to Le­in­ster’s re­turn to winning ways in their com­pre­hen­sive 40-7 vic­tory over Ul­ster in their Guinnes Pro Rugby league game played at the RDS on Saturday.

Mur­phy, who is com­pet­ing in a high-pro­file back row, was in­cluded in the team from the start but, de­spite their ex­per­i­men­tal look, the side still con­tained nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional play­ers, with the for­mer En­nis­cor­thy player handed the num­ber six jersey.

The flanker was prom­i­nent from the start with some big drives to his credit, while his tackle count was in­cred­i­ble as the new-look back row took con­trol.

It was an im­por­tant vic­tory, par­tic­u­larly with the visit of Toulouse this week­end for a cru­cial Euro­pean Cup game at the sold-out RDS.

For­mer Gorey player Paul Boyle, in his first sea­son as a pro­fes­sional, con­tin­ues to make waves out west, start­ing for Con­nacht who, de­spite their 31-24 de­feat to Mun­ster, con­tin­ued their im­pres­sive form of re­cent games.

Boyle, who saw much of the ac­tion, will be well pleased with his per­for­mance against such qual­ity op­po­si­tion.

The last week­end of 2018 had been a mixed one for Wex­ford play­ers in the Guin­ness Pro Rugby League.

In a tem­pes­tu­ous game, Le­in­ster lost their dis­ci­pline dur­ing the first-half be­fore go­ing down to a 26-17 de­feat to Mun­ster.

The losers played some 55 min­utes with 14 play­ers, af­ter James Lowe was red-carded for a dan­ger­ous tackle.

At one stage of the first-half they were down to 13 play­ers, as the front row pair of Cian Healy and Tadhg Fur­long were yel­low-carded fol­low­ing sep­a­rate high tackle in­ci­dents.

The de­ci­sions of ref­eree Frank Mur­phy – a for­mer Mun­ster player – couldn’t be dis­puted but, de­spite their nu­mer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage, Le­in­ster put in a tremen­dous sec­ond-half per­for­mance.

How­ever, it proved too much in the end, as Mun­ster in­flicted what was only a third de­feat on Le­in­ster this sea­son.

Dur­ing his spells on the pitch, Fur­long dis­played a huge work­load, while he was also prom­i­nent in the scrums, with his first lay-off of a swift pass one of the high­lights of the half.

The game suf­fered as a re­sult of the card in­ci­dents, and while it was phys­i­cal with some hec­tic ex­changes, one did not wit­ness the free-flow­ing rugby one would ex­pect from these two sides.

On the pre­vi­ous Fri­day evening, Con­nacht’s Paul Boyle con­tin­ued his progress in pro­fes­sional rugby, com­ing on as a sec­ond-half re­place­ment in his side’s em­phatic 21-12 vic­tory over Ul­ster.

Boyle had some huge car­ries dur­ing his sec­ond-half cameo, while his tackle count was also high.

Le­in­ster flanker Josh Mur­phy from En­nis­cor­thy is tack­led by Ul­ster’s Greg Jones dur­ing the PRO14 game atthe RDS Arena on Saturday.

Con­nacht’s Paul Boyle wear­ing num­ber 6 against Mun­ster.

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