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Leinster beat Warriors in thriller

01st March 2014 21:59

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Leinster Rugby s Ian Madigan prepares for a penalty

Prolific: Ian Madigan

Both sides scored three tries as Leinster edged out Glasgow Warriors 28-25 in Saturday's PRO12 clash at the RDS in Dublin.

The win lifted Leinster to the top of the PRO12 table as Munster slipped to an 18-13 defeat at the Scarlets, though Glasgow will be disappointed only to come away from the RDS with a losing bonus point.

The hosts opened the scoring with a well-taken try from Noel Reid early on, after hooker Sean Cronin offloaded well to the centre scythed through poor midfield defence and beat the tackle of full-back Peter Murchie; Ian Madigan converted.

The Warriors levelled things up soon after; converted centre Richie Vernon running a smart support line off fly-half Ruaridh Jackson - whose step and dummy outfoxed the home defence - to crash over.

Vernon soon added his second as the visitors played with verve and vision in attack. The initial chance appeared to have gone when Tommy Seymour was brought down after an arcing run for the corner, but Niko Matawalu kept the ball in play well, and the visitors went through the phases patiently before the midfielder once more powered his way over the line.

Darragh Fanning found himself in space to dot down in the corner for the hosts, who took at 21-15 lead into the break courtesy of a pair of Madigan penalties to one from Warriors centre Finn Russell.

Matawalu snuck over from the base of ruck in the second half, handing Glasgow a 22-21 lead with Russell's conversion.

But when Rhys Ruddock showed good strength to free his hands from an attempted Warriors choke tackle and grounded the ball over the line, the hosts took control once more.

Madigan's conversion took the scores to 28-22, and when handed a penalty inside Leinster territory with a minute and a half left on the clock, the visitors took the odd decision to kick for goal rather than attack for a potentially match-winning try.

Russell's aim was perfect, cutting the gap to three points, but the hosts were happy to keep the ball and run through the phases as the clock went red. An important victory for Matt O'Connor's men, but a bitter pill to swallow for the Warriors.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Reid, Fanning, Ruddock
Cons: Madigan 2
Pens: Madigan 3

For Glasgow:
Tries: Vernon 2, Matawalu
Cons: Russell 2
Pen: Russell

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Darren Hudson

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Finn Russell, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Chris Cusiter (c), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Rob Harley, 6 James Eddie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Leone Nakarawa, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Mark Bennett, 23 Lee Jones

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffkin (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
Television match official: Alan Rogan (Ireland)

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