Leinster ran nine tries past Cardiff Blues for an emphatic 59-22 RaboDirect PRO12 victory at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday.
Leinster ran nine tries past Cardiff Blues for an emphatic 59-22 Pro12 victory at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday.
Cardiff had come close to upsetting Toulon on home turf a week earlier, but they had no answer to the firepower of Leinster, who ran in a point a minute in a one-sided first half.
David Kearney's break from half-way laid the platform for Richardt Strauss to cross after four minutes, and even at that early stage all signs pointed towards it being a tough evening for Cardiff.
Jonny Sexton's conversion was quickly followed by a second Leinster try, which was scored after good interplay between Sexton and Fergus McFadden sent Ian Madigan racing away. Sexton's second conversion made it 14-0, though the Blues enjoyed some respite courtesy of a Leigh Halfpenny penalty three minutes later.
The three-pointer merely delayed the inevitable, however, as Brian O'Driscoll's break created an opportunity for the ball to be worked left for Jamie Heaslip to cross.
The hosts held a comfortable lead and their consistently high level of intensity was rewarded with three more tries before half-time.
Kearney crossed in the corner to secure an early bonus point, Heaslip grabbed his second on the half-hour from the scrum, before Cian Healy capped a dominant first half for the hosts when he crashed over from close range.
It took just two second-half minutes for Leinster to add to their lead through Jordi Murphy's try, but, to their credit, the Blues rallied, and their efforts were rewarded with a try to Alex Cuthbert.
Leinster found an instant response as Madigan sent Damian Browne over, but the Blues restored a little more pride with second and third tries, first from Halfpenny, whose conversion made it 54-15, and then from Tom James, who swooped on an awkward bouncing kick to score.
But Leinster had the final say, with Fionn Carr's unconverted try rounding off a satifying evening for the hosts.
Tries: Strauss, Madigan, Heaslip 2, Kearney, Healy, Murphy, Browne, Carr
Cons: Sexton 7
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Cuthbert, Halfpenny, James
Cons: Halfpenny 2
Yellow card: Andrews
Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 David Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Damian Browne, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Fionn Carr.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Dafydd Hewitt, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Tafa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Willimas, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Campese Ma'afu, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Tom Williams.
Venue: Royal Dublin Society
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
Television match official: Brian Macneice (Ireland)