Leinster suffered their first defeat of the British & Irish Cup campaign when they fell to a 43-12 defeat to the Cornish Pirates in Sunday afternoon’s 3rd round clash at a chilly Mennaye Field.

The hosts raced into an early 7-0 lead after a Tyrone Holmes try was converted by Johnny Bentley and the impressive full-back got on the try list with a well worked move involving Drew Locke moments later. Bentley again added the points and in doing so doubled his side’s lead, before slotting over an 18th minute penalty to make it 17-0 to the hosts.

The deficit injected life into Leinster and their hard work was rewarded through centre Noel Reid who capped off a fine backline move with a try, though Ian Madigan’s conversion attempt fell wide of the upright.

The hosts upped the ante and secured three further tries before the interval through Wes Davies, Rhodri McAtee and Tom Luke – with Bentley adding two conversions – to give the Pirates a seemingly unassailable 36-5 half time lead.

Credit to the visitors who fought back bravely in the second half and their efforts were rewarded through substitute Michael Keating’s try in the last play of the game, a breakaway effort where he virtually ran the length of the field which was converted by Ian McKinley, by which time the Pirates had been awarded a penalty try, with Bentley again adding the extras, to give them a resounding victory.

*Leinster ‘A’ face Ireland Under-20 on Wednesday in Donnybrook (KO: 1pm).

LEINSTER:

15: Niall Morris

14: Darren Hudson (Michael Keating, 65)

13: Brendan Macken

12: Noel Reid

11: Andrew Conway

10: Ian Madigan (Ian McKinley, 48)

9: Paul O’Donohoe (John Cooney, 72)

1: Jack McGrath

2: Aaron Dundon (Tom Sexton, 60-65 blood & 70)

3: Stewart Maguire (Simon Shawe, 65)

4: Mariano Galarza (Mark Flanagan, ht)

5: Ed O’Donoghue

6: Eoin Sheriff

7: Jordi Murphy

8: Stephen Keogh CAPTAIN (Ben Marshall, 49)