Planet Rugby

Bonus-point victory for Leinster

20th February 2014 21:56

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Eoin Reddan held for Leinster

Got the bonus: Eoin Reddan

Leinster moved provisionally top of the PRO12 standings after beating Cardiff Blues 34-22 on Thursday.

In an entertaining first-half, the Irish province took a 17-12 advantage into the interval via Jack Conan and Richardt Strauss tries, while Jimmy Gopperth added seven points from the tee.

Cardiff responded with touchdowns from Gareth Davies and Kristian Dacey in the opening period before Davies and Gopperth traded penalties after the break.

However, scores through Michael Bent and Eoin Reddan sealed the victory, despite a consolation try by the hosts' Dan Fish.

With their international players away on Wales' duty, Cardiff have struggled recently and succumbed 54-13 to PRO12 high flyers Munster two weeks ago.

Against another of the league's top teams, the visitors' opening to the game suggested that a thrashing was on the cards.

Firstly, Conan picked the ball up off the base of the scrum to touch down before Strauss went over following an excellent passage of play.

To their credit, the Blues came back from the initial onslaught and reduced the deficit when Davies spotted a hole in the Leinster rearguard to cross for a superbly taken score.

Although Gopperth extended the lead to 10 points via a penalty, a searing Fish break ended in Tom Denton being yellow carded and Dacey going over the whitewash to leave them just five adrift at half-time.

Gopperth and Davies traded three-pointers at the start of the second period before powerful surges from Tadhg Furlong and Rhys Ruddock resulted in prop Bent crossing from close range.

Reddan then went over to effectively secure the win - as well as the bonus-point - although Fish's well-taken try gave Cardiff Blues a consolation score.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: G Davies, Dacey, Fish
Con: Davies 2
Pen: Davies

For Leinster:
Tries: Conan, Strauss, Bent, Reddan
Con: Gopperth 4
Pen: Gopperth 2

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Owen Jenkins, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James Down, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Sam Hobbs (c).
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Tom Davies, 18 Patrick Palmer, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Tom Williams.

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin (capt), 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Tom Denton, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Michael Bent.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Edward Byrne, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darren Hudson.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris, Greg Morgan
TMO: Paul Adams

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PosTeamPPts
1Leinster2282
2Glasgow Warriors2279
3Munster2274
4Ulster2270
5Ospreys2266