A converted Dave Kearney try helped Leinster to a narrow 15-13 win over Edinburgh at the RDS to secure top spot in the PRO12.
A converted Dave Kearney try helped Leinster to a narrow 15-13 win over Edinburgh on Saturday at the RDS to secure top spot in the PRO12.
The Irishmen scored a try in each half through Jordi Murphy and Kearney but Edinburgh refused to lie down and pushed their Dublin hosts all the way.
Alan Solomons' team drew first blood when Greig Laidlaw knocked over an early penalty. However Leinster responded soon after when Murphy burrowed over from close range for a try which went unconverted. Great work from Matt Scott and Dave Denton led to Carl Bezuidenhout crossing the Leinster line but the try was ruled out, on referral to the TMO, for a forward pass in the build-up.
Despite suffering several knocks to key players, Denton being one of them, Edinburgh kept their line intact and a fine charge up field from the inspirational Grant Gilchrist set up good field position just before the half was out. From there Edinburgh won a scrum penalty and Laidlaw made no mistake from the tee to hand Edinburgh a shock 6-5 lead at half-time.
Jimmy Gopperth's 51st minute penalty put Leinster back in front, at 8-6, and that lead was further extended when Kearney, who had been hauled down inches short earlier in the half, darted through a gap to score a try which was converted.
Edinburgh continued to battle valiantly and were rewarded for their efforts when Laidlaw cut through the middle and ran 20 metres before drawing the final defender to put Tim Visser in for a well deserved score under the posts. Laidlaw converted to make it a two point game.
Having struggled to find any fluency in attack for the majority of the evening, Leinster were content to run the clock down and hold on for the win, which they did without too much drama.
Tries: Murphy, D. Kearney
Pens: Laidlaw 2
Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Rob Kearney
Edinburgh: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Sam Beard, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Dave Denton, 7 Tomas Leonardi, 6 Mike Coman, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Al Dickinson
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ben Atiga
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wal)
Assistant referees: Kieran Barry, Peter Fitzgibbon (both Ire)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (Ire)