Planet Rugby

Cardiff cruise for Leinster

31st October 2009 20:16

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Sexton Johnny Leinster egg chaser

Vital points: Jonathan Sexton

Leinster moved to the top of the Magners League standings on Saturday after a comfortable 23-6 victory over Cardiff Blues at the RDS.

Tries from Shane Horgan and Stephen Keogh drove the European champions past Munster, Ulster and Glasgow back to the summit.

Cardiff place-kicker Ben Blair had an off night with the boot, kicking only two out of five attempts, while Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton booted 13 points to help his side to a deserved victory.

Coming off the back of a great derby win over the Ospreys last week, the understrength Blues could not cope with a strong Leinster outfit whose stellar back-line provided a constant threat.

The opening try came when Luke Fitzgerald blitzed the Cardiff defence and Sexton's sublime grubber kick gave winger Horgan a relatively easy pick-and-run for the line.

In the opening half, the majority of Cardiff's chances came from the boot of Blair, but kicking into a strong breeze, the New Zealander was only able to convert two out of four penalties.

After a comfortable start to the first half, things suddenly started going wrong for Leinster.

Number eight Jamie Heaslip was sin-binned in the 34th minute for killing the ball and two minutes later Blair scored Cardiff's second penalty after Sean O'Brien was penalised for holding on.

Then, in the 39th minute, Leinster were dealt an injury blow as Gordon D'Arcy had to make way for Girvan Dempsey with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

The best opportunity for the Blues to cross the Leinster try-line came on the stroke of half-time but Blair, with a clear run to the line, was unable to hold onto the final pass.

Three minutes into the second half, Blair had the chance to reduce Leinster's 13-6 lead but his effort crept wide of the posts.

Ten minutes later, Sexton put further daylight between the teams as his sweetly-struck penalty just cleared the bar.

Michael Cheika's men started to exert their dominance in the final quarter as they threatened the Cardiff whitewash repeatedly.

But they had to be patient as their second try did not arrive until the 77th minute when replacement Stephen Keogh broke through a tackle and finished off well.

Experienced centre Gareth Thomas almost got a consolation try in the dying moments when he had a clear run to the line, but Fitzgerald got back quickly to close him down.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Horgan, Keogh
Con: Sexton 2
Pen: Sexton 3

For Cardiff Blues:
Pen: Blair

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Fogarty, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bernard Jackman, 17 Mike Ross, 18 Nathan Hines, 19 Stephen Keogh, 20 Simon Keogh, 21 Shaun Berne, 22 Girvan Dempsey.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Gareth Thomas, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Sam Norton Knight, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Ben White, 6 Scott Morgan, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Darren Morris.
Replacements: 16 Rhys James, 17 Gary Powell, 18 James Down, 19 Josh Navidi, 20 Darren Allinson, 21 Ceri Sweeney, 22 Dafydd James.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Assessor: Jack Young (Ireland)

  • Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
Friday , December 19
Edinburgh vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , December 20
Glasgow vs Munster14:40
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Guinness PRO12 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Friday , November 21
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster
Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre
Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday , October 31
Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Guinness PRO12 Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys830
2Ulster830
3Munster828
4Glasgow Warriors827
5Leinster824