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Leinster player ratings vs Sharks | 2023 URC quarter-final

By Ian Cameron
Harry Byrne and Ross Byrne of Leinster during the United Rugby Championship Quarter-Final between Leinster and Cell C Sharks at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster player ratings: Just 14,000 at the Aviva Stadium thanks to Bruce Springsteen taking over the RDS and they were a pretty subdued lot, very much inline with a slow start from Leo Cullen’s men.

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Indeed, the Sharks hit first with a try for Grant Williams but it was all Leinster from there out.

LEINSTER TEAM:
15. Hugo Keenan – 7.5
Solid under the high ball and showcased his pace with some impressive counter-attacks. He made some crucial tackles and was a threat when given any space by an at times complacent Sharks defence.

14. Jordan Larmour – 7
Larmour showed some great footwork and pace and did well to pick his Leinster’s third try from a Harry Byrne crossfield kick.

13. Ciarán Frawley – 8
Leinster’s all-purpose filler in the backline showed great vision and composure at 13, proving he really can make a fist of pretty much any spot in the backline. Up against the best outside centre in the world and held his own.

12. Charlie Ngatai – 8
Ngatai knows how to do injury comebacks right and was once again pivotal force in Leinster’s midfield. It may well be his jersey for the rest of the knockout season at this rate.

11. Dave Kearney – 6.5
A determined performance from the veteran, who makes up for what he lacks in pace with in-game nous. Busy.

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10. Harry Byrne – 8
All action Byrne Jnr showed some great skill and vision here, looking to attack with ball in hand whenever given a sniff.

9. Luke McGrath – 7
Was a solid presence at scrum-half, providing quick ball and providing critical decision-making capabilities in the absence of the Irish side’s rest or injured superstar halfbacks.

1. Michael Milne – 4
Milne knows his way to the try-line but it was his scrummaging that was under the microscope here. It got off to a rocky start after conceding a penalty for hinging and it got worse from there.

2. Dan Sheehan – 7
Sheehan was accurate with his lineout throws and made some typically violent and effective carries. He was a key player in the forward pack.

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3. Tadhg Furlong – 6
Was exploited by Grant Williams for his opening try and was blowing a great deal. His huge shift against Toulouse a week earlier may have caught up with him here.

4. Ryan Baird – 7
A solid return from injury for Baird, who got through plenty of work here. Might need to bulk up a tad if he’s to make second row his permanent home. Looked significantly better when moved back to the blindside.

5. Jason Jenkins – 7.5
The big South African was impressive in the lineout and made some big tackles. He showed great work rate throughout the game and side portion of beef that you need against South African packs.

6. Max Deegan – 8
A really impressive outing from Deegan, who truthfully would be a first choice starter in 80 per cent of European sides. Rewarded with a 5-pointer after finding himself on the end of a sweeping Leinster attack.

7. Scott Penny – NA
Popped up everywhere before having to leave the field for a HIA, which he didn’t return from.

8. Caelan Doris – 8.5
Stretched over after running through an illegal challenge from Mapimpi and looked a level above any of the Sharks back rowers.

REPLACEMENTS – 7
Jack Conan impressed from the bench when replacing Penny, putting Deegan away for his try in the corner. Liam Turner brought plenty of energy, while Cian Healy and Andrew Porter took charge of a creaking Leinster scrum.

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