A two-try blitz at the start of the second half saw Leinster get their season up and running with a scrappy 31-10 win over the Dragons.
A two-try blitz at the start of the second half saw Leinster get their season up and running with a scrappy 31-10 win over the Dragons at the RDS on Friday.
Leinster, so lacklustre in the opening game of the season against Ospreys, once again struggled to find any rhythm against a determined Welsh outfit.
Two Isa Nacewa penalties was all the European champions could manage during the first 40 minutes despite dominating both territory and possession.
The Dragons, who were unlucky not to pick up a losing point in the first leg of their 'Irish tour' at Munster last weekend, were made to do the lion's share of the tackling, with a brilliant last-ditch effort from full-back Martyn Thomas denying left wing Dave Kearney as the half-hour mark approached.
The Dragons enjoyed their best phase of the first half as the interval drew close, Mike Poole only just unable to gather a chip ahead before the ball bounced into touch. Leinster went into the break 6-3 in front, the Dragons' only points coming from the boot of Jason Tovey.
The home side came out fired up after the re-start and were rewarded with tries from Brendan Macken and Ian Madigan, one of which was converted by Nacewa. Nacewa added a third penalty before Tovey raced clear down the left flank for a try, which he converted to make it 21-10 to Leinster.
Nacewa responded with his fourth strike at goal and converted Fionn Carr's late long-range try to finish with a personal tally of 16 points in a game that saw 30 penalties shared between the sides.
Tries: Macken, Madigan, Carr
Cons: Nacewa 2
Pens: Nacewa 4
Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Eoin O'Malley, 11 David Kearney, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Rhys Ruddock (c), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Damian Browne, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jack O'Connell/ Nathan White, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Leo Auva'a, 21 John Cooney, 22 Mat Berquist, 23 Darren Hudson.
Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Pat Leach, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Hugo Ellis 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Andrew Coombs, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Dan Way, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Steffan Jones, 23 Jamie Smith
Venue: Royal Dublin Society
Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU)