Friday, 13 May 2011

Fitzgerald and McFadden battle for wing spot as Leinster make the Magners Grand Final

Leinster made the final of the magners league by defeating Ulster on a scoreline of 18 points to 3. The game started out at a fast placed with the Leinster players particularly O'Driscoll, O'Brien and McFadden playing the game with enormous discrimination and physicality that Ulster struggled to match. After Fergus McFadden scored Leinster's first try on 21 minutes the game had a certain inevitability about it. The game petered out with Leinster content on running down the clock and Ulster never really threatening the Leinster try line. Leinster made a raft of changes early in the second half as a result of injuries and giving key players like Sexton a rest.
The win may have come at a huge cost with 4 of Leinster's key player's, namely Brian O'Driscoll, Rickardt Strauss, Mike Ross and Isaac Boss being taken off injured. Strauss' injury in particular looked like it might force the player out of the Heineken Cup final next weekend. With the Heineken Cup final a little over a week away all 4 will struggle to be fit in time. The resulting substitutions did not seem to have much impact on the game as Leinster dominated the latter stages culminating in Luke Fitzgerald's try.

Before the game the main story was the battle between Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald for the second wing spot on the Leinster team for the Heineken Cup Final in Cardiff next weekend. McFadden has being pushing for a place in the full team in recent months with some fine performances that won him man of the match against Glasgow last weekend. Fitzgerald on the other hand has being struggling for form all season after coming back from injury. He has falling into the trap of trying too hard to make an impact, over running the ball and missing scoring constantly in the last few months.