Leinster finish top of PRO12

Date published: May 7 2016

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Leinster secured a home semi-final when they claimed a deserved 50-19 victory over Treviso at the RDS Arena on Saturday.

In the final league game of the season over at the RDS Arena, Leinster took an early lead with the opening try of the game.

Johnny Sexton crossed the line inside the first 10 minutes, the grateful recipient of some neat build up work which saw the ball fed to him by Dave Kearney.

The hosts were far the better side in the opening exchanges and fully deserved the try. The Sexton-Kearney combination almost worked again when Sexton found space down the wing, but his pass slipped out of Kearney's hands as he looked to go from provider to finisher.

And after a couple of penalties turned the heat up on Treviso, try number two arrived. Richardt Strauss got the first of his two in quick succession, with Sexton hitting the upright after Strauss' dart from short range.

Try three for the afternoon followed almost immediately, Strauss getting it again. Again Strauss went over from close range, though this time Sexton had his radar firmly set to kick through the sticks and extend an already hefty lead.

That's the way the first 40 ended, and with a 17-0 lead at the break, Leinster were well set.

The second half began with Isa Nacewa falling just short of the line with a try seeming almost inevitable. But it didn't matter though, because the bonus point try soon came.

Jack McGrath grabbed it, with a further two points from Nacewa making it 24-0, a sharp contrast to the jubilation Treviso had last weekend.

But from the horror of falling metres short, Nacewa had the ecstasy of grabbing try number five. His kick started the original move before the ball was recycled back his way to cross the line, with the conversion following.

Treviso did have something to cheer though when Marco Lazzaroni went over, the conversion from Jayden Hayward taking the visitors up to seven points for the day.

Noel Reid hit back quickly though with the sixth Leinster try of the afternoon, coming little more than two minutes after Hayward's kick at the posts. Again Nacewa converted to take the scores up to 43-7.

The Italians were giving it a good go however and grabbed their second try as the clock ran down to make the score a little more attractive. Matteo Muccignat claimed the try, with the conversion not finding it's target.

Treviso got their third try soon after, the third in a crazy 20-minute spell that put a slight dampener on Leinster's afternoon.

The conversion from Enrico Bacchin's try made it 43-19, but Garry Ringrose ensured the hosts would have the final say and bring up a half century for the afternoon.

For Leinster:
Tries: 
Strauss 2, Sexton, McGrath, Nacewa, M Kearney, Reid, Ringrose
Cons: Nacewa 4, Sexton

For Treviso:
Tries: 
Lazzaroni, Muccigna, Bacchin
Cons: Hayward 2

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa (c), 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Cathal Marsh, 23 Noel Reid

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Luke McLean, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Alessandro Zanni (c), 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Matteo Zanusso
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Andrea De Marchi, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 James Ambrosini, 23 Enrico Bacchin

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: TBC
TMO: TBC

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