Thorn makes debut in Leinster cruise

Brendan Macken was the star of the show at Anglesea Road yesterday with a hat-trick as Leinster A, on World Cup-winning All Black Brad Thorn’s debut, comfortably dispatched Connacht A.

The 49-times capped lock could have a pivotal role to play with Joe Schmidt’s charges in the coming weeks and he was delighted to get some game time.

“Today was just about getting a head out,” he said.

“In 40 minutes, I got through a few rucks, and made a few rusty tackles. A bit of scrummaging and a bit of line work. That is what I wanted to get out of it. It was good to play with the team, and I enjoyed it.”

Leinster were in control early with tries from Macken and Leo Auva’a (two) for a commanding 19-0 lead at the interval, during which time Thorn was replaced by Alan O’Connor. The Blues would continue to dominate after the restart with tries from Macken (two), Darren Hudson and flanker Dominic Ryan.

“It’s a great opportunity for me, and also for my family it’s a great experience,” said Thorn. “I have goals that I want to achieve. Today was a start. I’ve been training, but I haven’t played since February 4. I enjoyed today. I’ll have to continue to work in training, and it will be good for me if I get the chance against the Ospreys.”

LEINSTER A: A Conway; A Boyle, B Macken, C O’Shea, D Hudson; M Berquist, J Cooney; J McGrath, A Dundon, J Hagan; B Thorn, M Flanagan; R Ruddock, D Ryan, L Auva’a.

Replacements: A O’Connor for Thorn (ht), N Reid for Berquist (53), J Murphy for Ruddock (58), S Crosbie for Boyle (63), T Sexton for Dundon (66), J Tracy for McGrath (66), M Moore for Hagan (66), D Doyle for Ryan (75).

CONNACHT A: M Jarvis; J Loxton, B Murphy, T Leader, D Leader; J Carty, D Moore; F Bealham, D Murphy, R Ah You, C Kindregan, M Kearney, D Heffernan, E Grace, E McKeon. Replacements: J Stephens for Heffernan (25-33), K O’Byrne for Murphy (50), B Moylett for McKeon (50), Stephens for Ah You (53), D Buckley for Bealham (53), C Fitzgibbon for Loxton (53), I O’Grady for Carty (63), M Dever for Moore (63).

Referee: S Gallagher (IRFU).

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