Leinster ran six unanswered tries past Cardiff Blues for a crushing 52-9 Pro 12 victory at the RDS on Friday.
Leinster ran six unanswered tries past Cardiff Blues for a crushing 52-9 Pro 12 victory at a blustery RDS arena in Dublin on Friday.
The result sees Leinster storm to the top of the RaboDirect Pro 12 table.
Both sides were without many of their star players. The Blues had 15 senior players unavailable due to international commitments and injuries, whilst the Leinster bench had several Ireland players warming it.
Blues fly-half Ceri Sweeney opened the scoring with an early penalty. Fergus McFadden replied minutes later when he managed to ignore the strong head-wind to slot the penalty.
The home side took the lead when Rhys Ruddock crashed over after the Leisnster forwards' positive ball-carrying had the Blues on the back foot for 16 phases. McFadden's conversion and a successful penalty shortly after the try gave the Irish side a 13-3 lead.
Two Sweeney penalties reduced the Leinster lead to 13-9 going into half-time.
Leinster came out after the break with a real purpose and intent leading to a McFadden penalty and drop-goal. A Nathan White try gave the visitors a 23-9 lead with over half an hour remaining in the game.
Leinster captain Leo Cullen and then the Blues' Richie Rees were sent to the sin-bin. Wave after wave of Leinster forward runners continued to apply pressure on a wilting Blues defence.
Ian Madigan was the beneficiary of the forward dominance to take Leinster into a 33-9 lead.
Two David Kearney tries and a Jonathan Sexton conversion extended the home side's advantage even further to 45-9.
Replacement back rower Leo Auva'a stormed over to inflict more misery on a disappointing Blues team. Sexton's successful conversion was the last action of a convincing win for the Dubliners.
Tries: Boss, White, Madigan, Kearney 2, Auva'a
Cons: McFadden 3, Sexton 2
Pens: McFadden 3
For Cardiff Blues:
Pens: Sweeney 3
Yellow cards: Cullen (Lienster -54th min); Rees (Cardiff -62nd min)
Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 David Kearney, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Nathan White, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Damian Browne, 20 Leo Auva'a, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Jonathan Sexton, 23 Rob Kearney.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Taufaao Filise, 2 Ryan Tyrrell, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Sam Hobbs, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Michael Paterson, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Peter Roche (Ireland)
Television match official: Sean Flannery (Ireland)
Assessor: Tim Aplin (Ireland)