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Borders (13) 22 - 19 (13) Leinster,
Att: 1,661,
Referee: Neil Ballard
Friday 13th October 2006, 19:30

Borders won their first match of the season against an out of sorts Leinster. After the great win against Munster the previous week Leinster were looking for a good performance to put them in good stead for the start of the Heineken Cup this Saturday. Whether it was the distraction of that match or just plain complacency, Leinster never really got going. Ironically the lineout, one facet of the team that had been struggling, actually went well. There were very few other positives though. Too often first up tackles were missed and the aggressive rucking and fringe defence of the previous week had gone missing. And the performance of the backs was almost unrecognisable from the previous two weeks. Yes they were missing Shane Horgan and Girvan Dempsey but any team in the League would give their right arms for replacements like Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney.

Despite the backs having plenty of possession they were unable to do anything with it. The three-quarter line was stagnant and lacking in penetrating runners. In truth, the ball carriers in the pack were missing in action too. Leinster were reduced to trying to score through lineout mauls as the chants of "boring, boring Munster" came back to haunt us.

Leinster had recovered from a bad start to go in at half-time level at 13 points all. Stephen Keogh was driven over at a maul for Leinster's only try. In the second-half Leinster lead 19-13 with Borders reduced to fourteen men. Leinster looked set to push on for the win but didn't score again. Calum McRae kicked two penalties for Borders and then Steve Jones dropped a goal to effectively win the game. Brian Blaney had a late try controversially disallowed but in truth Leinster got what their abject performance deserved.

Match Stats
  Borders Leinster
Tries Hamilton Keogh
Cons MacRae Contepomi
Penalties MacRae (4) Contepomi (4)
Drop Goals Jones  
Teams MacRae, Robertson, MacDougall, Law, De Luca, Jones, C. Cusiter, Kerr, Ford, Kalman, Palepoi, Hamilton, Beattie, Brown, Gray Kearney, Fitzgerald, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Hickie, Contepomi, Easterby, Corrigan, Blaney, Green, Hogan, O'Kelly, Jowitt, Heaslip, Gleeson
Replacements Scott for Ford (74), Douglas for Kalman (58), Dalziel for Beattie (40), Miller for Gray (75). Not Used: Newlands, McKearchar, Townsend Lewis for Hickie (48), Willis for Easterby (21), Vermaas for Corrigan (58), Finnigan for Hogan (65), Keogh for Jowitt (26). Not Used: Jackman, Warner

by Paul Kelly, © 2006-10-13