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Caesar's treble gets the Juniors' campaign off to convincing start

 

By Ronnie Ingram

Three tries by Portadown winger Tom Caesar helped Ulster to a bonus-point 36-20 win over Connacht to take them to the top of the Junior Inter-Provincial table with five points. Leinster, following their 19-13 victory in Skibbereen, have four points, Munster one and Connacht none.

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Connacht took the lead at Castlebar with an early Aidan Leech try but the visitors levelled when a quickly taken tap penalty resulted in hooker Matthew Coulter crashing over.

Craig McCormick added a home penalty before Caesar responded with a try following some excellent handling. Lee Steenson converted and 10 minutes later they were 19-8 ahead when Jordan Taylor broke through and recycled ball led to a Connor McKee converted score.

Tries either side of the interval by Niall Staunton and Brian Donohue, one of which was goaled, saw Connacht take a one point advantage but the remainder of the contest belonged to the visitors.

Armstrong kicked the points to Caesar's second before adding a penalty. Connacht then lost possession around halfway and Caesar gathered to dash in for Armstrong to add the points.

A satisfactory performance and a confidence boost for Ulster but they can expect their meetings with Munster at Ballyclare on Saturday and Leinster at Dundalk the following week to be much tougher.

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