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Thursday 14 December 2017

Reid woe for Blues

LEINSTER centre Noel Reid will take 5-7 weeks to work his way back from an ankle injury.

The 24-year-old centre was all set to make a worthy statement to coach Matt O'Connor in the No 12 shirt before Gordon D'Arcy's return to play until suffering a ligament strain in the first minute against Glasgow.

The injury probably puts Reid outside the timeframe to contend for the first round of the Rugby Champions Cup against Wasps on October 19 as he would have to play some part at Zebre in the Pro12 the week before it, five weeks from last Saturday.

The most likely scenario is that Ian Madigan will fill in there making him unable to take advantage of Jimmy Gopperth's sub-par performance in round one of the PRO12 League when the Leinster team to play The Scarlets is selected.

Madigan may have to bide his time at 12 as, once again, the importance of D'Arcy is highlighted by the relatively meagre resources in what is a specialist position.

Irish defy Scots

BATTLING Ireland took a 2-0 lead in their three-match series against Scotland at Malahide yesterday but made heavy weather of it before sealing a three-wicket verdict.

Scotland's Richie Berrington hit a century for the visitors before being run out to see his side set a target of 221 all out.

Ireland's reply was hardly convincing to begin with as Andrew Balbirnie (16) and John Anderson (12) were both undone.

However, Kevin O'Brien and Andrew Poynter improved the run rate and added 68 before Poynter fell to Berrington for 21.

Stuart Thompson joined O'Brien and the latter was soon cruising to an even-time half century as Ireland assumed control.

The skipper looked nailed on to take his side home before going for one big drive too many and being caught behind off Evans for 67 (9 fours) and things began to get a little less comfortable.

Andrew White went lbw bringing John Mooney and Max Sorensen together with 37 still needed. The duo proved up to the task- Mooney with an unbeaten 27 and Sorensen 14 as Ireland edged it.

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