Leinster sweep aside Dragons

Date published: December 3 2016

Leinster joined Munster at the top of the PRO12 standings with a 28-15 win over Dragons at the RDS Arena on Saturday.

A cold RDS Arena was warmed up by a first half domination by Leinster, who went into the break 21-3 ahead. Tries from Peter Dooley, Ross Molony and Jack Conan were followed by Joey Carbery after the break. 

Pat Howard and Sarel Pretorius grabbed consolations. The hosts almost went ahead inside the first five minutes, Isa Nacewa threatening going forward with Joel Carbery almost going over. They didn't have to wait long for the first try though, Dooley getting it. 

A tap and go from Luke McGrath let Dooley sprint forward, powering over from close range. Nacewa converted, the first of three successful efforts at the posts. It was barely a minute later that the second try arrived, with Newport caught reeling from the first. 

McGrath again made the break, offloading to Hayden Triggs who provided the pass to try-scorer Molony. Nacewa followed with the two. Dragons got themselves on the board with a penalty, Angus O'Brien cutting the gap to 11 points after Leinster's fantastic start. 

But it was only a momentary lapse for Leinster, who saw three tries before the break blow Newport away. Conan became the barbarian as he battered his way through challenges and going in under the sticks. Nacewa's two took Leinster into the break 21-3 to the good. 

It almost got better, but Rory O'Loughlin's try was called back for a forward pass in the build up. Having started the first quickly, Leinster grabbed their fourth try a minute into the second half. Carbery went over following O'Loughlin's burst forward, Nacewa again making no mistake with the two. 

Dragons got themselves on the board with a try soon after. Howard went over after a rare spell of pressure, although the conversion didn't follow as Dragons stayed in single figures. The visitors had their tales up and grabbed a second try courtesy of Pretorius. The TMO's interference meant the gap was reduced further, with the conversion making it 28-15. It all came too late though, with Leinster's first half dominance killing the game off before Newport could really get going.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Dooley, Molony, Conan, Carbery
Cons: Nacewa 4

For Dragons:
Tries: Howard, Pretorius
Con: O'Brien
Pen: O'Brien

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Isa Nacewa (c), 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Bent, 2 James Tracy, 1 Peter Dooley 
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Andrew Porter, 18 Jeremy Loughman, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Charlie Rock, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Tom Daly

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Adam Warren, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Harrison Keddie, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price 
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James Thomas, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Tom Prydie

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini (Italy), Stuart Douglas (Ireland)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)