Leinster managed to see off a brave Cardiff Blues side 22-13 at the Arms Park, with the hosts playing 48 minutes with fourteen men on Saturday.
Second-row Jarrad Hoeata was the man given his marching orders after 32 minutes when his high tackle on full-back Rob Kearney saw him walk.
A try very early on in the first-half for Leinster courtesy of Noel Reid kept the visitors in the game despite them failing to score any more points in the first 40.
Cardiff Blues claimed two penalties for Gareth Anscombe and a try for Manoa Vosawai, on for Sam Warburton, to give them a 13-5 half-time lead.
Three tries for Leinster though courtesy of Jimmy Gopperth, Luke McGrath and Tadhg Furlong not only secured the visitors a bonus point but also the victory. The Blues claimed no further points in the second-half meaning they were defeated 13-22.
Leinster’s try came just two minutes into the game when Gopperth spotted a gap and raced down field. He passed out to Reid who had a clear run over the line but the fly-half then failed to convert despite his hard work in setting up the try.
Cardiff responded with two penalties in quick succession for Anscombe to put them ahead of their visitors.
By now the Blues had built up a bit of confidence and it resulted in the try for Vosawai. A few of his team mates had a go from close range first, after a penalty kick to the corner had put them in a great position, but it was Vosawai for whom the TMO awarded the try.
The home side however were brought back down to earth with a bump when Hoeata was shown a red card for a high tackle on Leinster’s Kearney. They now faced the rest of the game with 14 men but still led 13-5 at the half-time break.
Cardiff’s try scorer Vosawai was show a yellow card only eight minutes into the second-half meaning the home side were now down to only 13 men. Given the obvious advantage, it was only time before Leinster scored courtesy of Gopperth.
Ill-discipline was costing Cardiff Blues dear and it was not long before the TMO decided McGrath was not held up and another try was awarded to Leinster.
The floodgates were now open and Leinster’s two wingers linked up brilliantly to bring the team into Cardiff’s 22 and Furlong picked up the ball to power over for their fourth and bonus point try, winning the game 13-22.
For Cardiff Blues:
Pen: Anscombe 2
Yellow: Vosawai (47 mins – knee)
Red: Hoeata (32 mins – high tackle)
Tries: Reid, Gopperth, McGrath, Furlong
Cardiff Blues: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Lucas Amorosino, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tavis Knoyle,8 Josh Navidi 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Miles Normandale, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Adam Thomas.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney (c), 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Ben Te’o, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Tom Denton, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Michael Bent.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jamie Hagan, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Josh Van Der Flier, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darragh Fanning.
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU, 66th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens, Rhys Thomas (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Charles (WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)