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Leinster player ratings vs Lions | 2023/24 URC

By Ian Cameron
Ciarán Frawley of Leinster and Morne van den Berg of Emirates Lions contest a high ball during the United Rugby Championship match between Emirates Lions and Leinster at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster player rating: After their statement win against La Rochelle, Leinster were brought down to earth with a bump in Johannesburg in the URC.

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In a humbling match for Leo Cullen’s men, here’s how the players rated:

1. Cian Healy – 4/10
One burst up the field aside, it was a tough day at the office for the veteran. Taken off just after halftime.

2. Lee Barron – 5
Found himself outmatched in lineouts and rucks, with the Lions exploiting every error.

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Springbok legend Victor Matfield on why Jason Jenkins might take over from Eben Etzebeth

Springbok legend Victory Matfield is backing Jason Jenkins to take over the Springbok No.4 jersey from Eben Etzebeth one day.

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Springbok legend Victor Matfield on why Jason Jenkins might take over from Eben Etzebeth

Springbok legend Victory Matfield is backing Jason Jenkins to take over the Springbok No.4 jersey from Eben Etzebeth one day.

3. Thomas Clarkson – 5
Managed to hold his ground at times, but was largely overwhelmed by the Lions’ aggressive scrummaging. Struggled in the thin Jo’burg air.

4. Ross Molony – 4
Had difficulty organizing the lineout and couldn’t impose his physicality as the Lions dominated aerially.

5. Jason Jenkins – 4
Failed to make a significant impact on a return to home soil, with the Lions’ pack getting the best of the tight exchanges.

6. Diarmuid Mangan – 4
Looked off the pace at this altitude and struggled to keep up with the dynamic Lions’ back row.

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7. Scott Penny – 7
One of the few bright spots, Penny was energetic and effective at the breakdown, showing resilience despite the team’s struggles. Leinster’s best carrier.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
4.5
9
Entries
Avg. Points Scored
0.9
13
Entries

8. Max Deegan – 6
A competent performance from Deegan despite Leinster being on the back foot for much of the game. If he wants to kick on his career you suspect he must leave Leinster, as he’s too good to be a third choice.

9. Luke McGrath – 5
Had a challenging day with slow service and pressure that the Lions capitalized on, disrupting Leinster’s flow.

10. Harry Byrne – 5
Despite the unfavourable scoreline, Byrne tried to spark his team’s attack, showing initiative and creativity under pressure. However, his efforts were largely thwarted and some blame must rest on his shoulders given Leinster’s lack of direction.

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11. Andrew Osborne – NA
Substituted early due to injury, Osborne had limited opportunities to shine before being removed.

12. Charlie Ngatai – 5
Showed patches of his ability, but the Lions’ midfield defence was too robust to allow any real impact.

Territory

34%
32%
10%
23%
Team Logo
Team Logo
33%
Territory
66%

13. Liam Turner – 4
A disallowed try aside, there were too many errors from Turner. Found it difficult to find space and break lines, with the Lions’ shutting down options.

14. Rob Russell – 4
Lacked service and opportunities, largely invisible against a rampant Lions’ backline.

15. Ciaran Frawley – 7.5
Despite the team’s overall performance, Frawley showed composure at the back and was reliable under high balls and in counter-attacks. Went over for two tries against the run of play.

REPLACEMENTS: 

16. John McKee – 5
Came on to stabilize but faced similar challenges as the starting hooker against a relentless Lions.

17. Michael Milne – 4
Like the rest of the front row, struggled to make an impact in the scrum, ceding over 30kg to replacement tighthead Asenathi Ntlabakanye, who ate him for dinner.

18. Michael Alaalatoa – 5
Couldn’t turn the tide in the scrum, with the Lions maintaining their upper hand.

19. Conor O’Tighearnaigh – 5
Limited impact and couldn’t shift the momentum in Leinster’s favour.

20. Rhys Ruddock – 5
Brought experience, but it wasn’t enough to thwart the Lions’ dominance.

21. Cormac Foley – 5
Had minimal impact in changing the game’s pace against a well-organized Lions defence.

22. Sam Prendergast – 7
Coming off the bench, Prendergast brought a much-needed spark to Leinster’s play in the second half. His urgency provided a clear uplift, helping to shift the momentum for the visitors.

23. Ben Brownlee – 4
Struggled to get into the game during his limited minutes on the pitch. Getting swapped aside by Emmanuel Tshituka didn’t help his rating.

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