Planet Rugby

Bonus-point win for Leinster

09th February 2014 18:43

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Zane Kirchner in action for Leinster

Scored: Zane Kirchner

Leinster moved back into second position in the RaboDirect PRO12 table after beating Zebre 31-8 with a bonus-point at Stadio XXV Aprile.

The hosts had shown some good signs in a narrow defeat to Toulouse on their last outing, while Leinster headed into the game in great form, and were comfortable winners over the Ospreys in their last match.

And despite an even first-half, Leinster had too much in the tank for the Italian opponents.

Zebre hit the front in the first-half when Dries van Schalkwyk drove over to score the game's first try, though the conversion was missed.

But it took just seven minutes for Leinster to hit back, and they were in front when John Cooney capitalised on a period of heavy pressure to score, with Jimmy Gopperth adding the conversion.

It remained 5-7 until the stroke of half-time, when Gopperth added a penalty goal to extend the visitors' lead.

But following an even opening period, it was one way traffic after the break as Leinster added three converted scores to race away.

On 55 minutes, Noel Reid eventually penetrated some tough home defence to score, and ten minutes later Zane Kirchner converted a period of pressure to settle the contest.

Leinster underlined their superiority just two minutes from the end when Darren Hudson scooped up the loose ball to cross for the visitors' fourth try and secure the bonus point. Gopperth added the extras to all three second-half tries to ensure a comfortable winning margin for the Irish side.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Van Schalkwyk
Pen: Haimona

For Leinster:
Tries: Cooney, Reid, Kirchner, Hudson
Con: Gopperth 2, Madigan 2
Pen: Gopperth

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giulio Toniolatti 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 David Odiete, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 George Biagi, 4 Emiliano Caffini, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Matias Aguero (c).
Replacements: 16 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 David Ryan, 19 Michael van Vuren, 20 Giacomo Bernini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Filippo Cristiano.

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Sam Coghlan-Murray, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 John Cooney, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Aaron Dundon, 1 Michael Bent.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Edward Byrne, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darren Hudson.

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant referees: Filippo Bertelli (Italy), Frencesco Russo (Italy)
Television match official: Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Citing Commissioner: Achille Reali (Italy)

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PosTeamPPts
1Leinster1969
2Ulster1965
3Munster1963
4Glasgow Warriors1860
5Ospreys1956