The New England Free Jacks hosted the Connacht Eagles in the opening match of the Cara Cup, losing 38-7.
The Cara Cup includes matches between the Free jacks and the four ‘A’ sides from the Irish provinces, as well as a match between Connacht A against Ulster A and Munster A versus Leinster A.
The Cara Cup began on March 16 at Union Sports Complex in Weymouth, MA and ends April 14 with the Freejacks playing Leinster A at Harvard University. All matches will be broadcast on NESNplus.
Connacht Eagles opened the scoring with an intercept try by Sean O’Brien and then a try from a scrum by Neal Moylett for a 12-0 lead at the break.
A turnover early in the second half extended the lead with Hugh Lane finishing with a try and Luke Carty conversion to push the lead to 19-0.
The Free Jacks cut the lead to 19-7 from a lineout gathered by Owen Hundt, which resulted in a try by Peter Lupton and a conversion by Tadgh Leader.
Connacht had the edge in the scrums and after the scrum collapsing multiple times, Tony Purpura was sent to the bin. Connacht used numbers to their advantage with Mark Balaski scoring in the left corner. Colm de Buitlear and Robin Copeland added others to close out the match with a 38-7 win.
The Cara Cup continues on May 20 with the Connacht Eagles facing the Ulster Ravens. The New England Free Jacks will play Ulster on Sunday.
Squads with Player Article Links
New England Free Jacks: 1 Anthony Purpura 2 Steve Hinshaw 3 Dolph Botha 4 Jackson Thiebes 5 Conor Kindregan 6 Owen Hundt 7 Jon Kokinda 8 Pago Haini 9 Erik Thompson 10 Tadhg Leader (C) 11 Steve Dazzo 12 Peter Lupton13 Ahmad Harajily 14 Christian Adams 15 Danny Collins 16 Diego Maquieira 17 David McKenna 18 Kyle Ciquera19 Aaron Cummings 20 Devin Ibanez 21 Oliver Engelhart 22 Owen Collins 23 Bryan Ptomey
Connacht Eagles: 1 Conan O’Donnell 2 Jonny Murphy 3 Conor Kenny 4 Joe Maksymiw (C) 5 Cillian Gallagher 6 Cian Huxford 7 Sean Masterson 8 Neal Moylett 9 Stephen Kerins 10 Luke Carty 11 Mark Balsaki 12 Kieran Joyce 13 Sean O’Brien 14 Hugh Lane 15 Colm de Buitlear 16 Declan Adamson 17 Jordan Duggan 18 Peter Claffey 19 James Connolly 20 Robin Copeland 21 James Mitchell 22 Conor Dean 23 Corey Reid
Non-playing reserves Lian Winnett, Conor Hayes, Oran McNulty
CARA CUP ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES (ALL TIMES EST)
Saturday, March 16
1500: Free Jacks v Connacht Eagles @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Wednesday, March 20
1900: Connacht Eagles v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Sunday, March 24
1830: Free Jacks v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Saturday, April 6
1600: Free Jacks v Munster A @ Irish Cultural Centre, Canton MA
Wednesday, April 10
1900: Munster A v Leinster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Sunday, April 14
1700: Free Jacks v Leinster A @ Harvard Mignone Field, Boston MA