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'Unnatural strength': Maturing Irish prop turning heads after dominant display

By Sam Smith
(Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Leinster’s dominant 47-19 win over rivals Connacht was powered by a second half showing which saw the hosts run away with the game after the break.

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A big reason for the second half blitz was the impact brought by the bench, specifically from prop Andrew Porter who came on and went close to being man of the match despite not playing the entire game.

The 25-year-old made 11 tackles and won one turnover and scrum penalty in a physical display of defensive power that has elevated Porter into the ‘world-class’ discussion. He showed brute force to disrupt Connacht runners that showed Porter has taken his game to another level.

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Despite coming off the bench against Connacht, Porter started at loosehead prop for Ireland earlier this month over the experienced Cian Healy in the 29-20 win over the All Blacks and was part of the Irish pack that steamrolled the Kiwis.

He made 10 carries on that night, along with seven tackles in an industrious performance where the entire Ireland pack had the wood over their counterparts.

Porter was labelled by fans as ‘one of the best players in the world at the moment’ after his display against Connacht in the United Rugby Championship which showed off ‘unnatural strength’.

Another fan said it ‘should be illegal’ to bring a player of Porter’s calibre off the bench.

After bringing back 10 internationals into the squad, Leinster boss Leo Cullen said his side ‘isn’t where they want to be’ at the moment despite the dominant second half display.

“We’re not quite where we would like to be at the moment, but we had a fair amount of changes over the last couple of weeks so maybe it’s to be expected with the short turnaround in terms of prep.

“Guys came in tonight after November, had a week off then this week was a short week to get that sense of togetherness and cohesion back.”

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