Leinster hammer 14-man Ospreys

18th Jan 2014, 14:09

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Eye for a gap: Jimmy Gopperth

Eye for a gap: Jimmy Gopperth

Leinster marched into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on Friday thanks to a 36-3 victory over the Ospreys at the RDS in Dublin.


Leinster marched into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on Friday thanks to a 36-3 victory over the Ospreys at the RDS in Dublin.

Ospreys were forced to play the final hour of the game with 14 men after lock Ian Evans was sent off for stamping on the head of a prostrate Mike McCarthy.

Up until then Leinster had toiled away without showing their usual fluency but the one-man advantage eventually told and they went on to score a total of five tries, two of them penalty tries.

Jimmy Gopperth opened the scoring with a seventh minute penalty only for Dan Biggar, the competition's top points scorer, to land his 21st successful kick at goal, albeit with a little help from the cross bar.

Determined Ospreys defending kept Leinster at bay until the 32nd minute when the first of the two penalty tries was awarded to the home side following a collapsed maul. Gopperth turned five points into seven with the conversion.

Matt Moore's surging run almost led to a second score but Gopperth, who was up in support, was unable to ground the ball over the line.

Man-of-the-match Cian Healy burrowed his way over from close range shortly after, Gopperth's second conversion taking the score to 17-3 at the break.

The expected second-half onslaught failed to materialise until the latter stages as Ospreys continued to defend for their lives.

Dave Kearney had a try disallowed before Leinster finally broke Ospreys' resistance with their second penalty try of the evening when, with his forwards being shunted backwards at a rate of knots, visiting scrum-half Rhys Webb was penalised for coming in at the side.

The bonus-point was secured when replacement forward Jordi Murphy charged over for the all-important fourth try after hitting the line at speed.

Isaac Boss then received a good inside ball off Luke Fitzgerald to score the fifth and final try of the match.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Penalty try 2, Healy, Murphy, Boss
Cons: Gopperth 4
Pen: Gopperth

For Ospreys:
Pen: Biggar
Red cards: Ian Evans - 20th min - foul play

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ben John, 11 Aisea Natoga, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 James King, 21 Morgan Allen, 22 Thomas Habberfield, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Venue: RDSReferee: Romain Poite (Fra)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon, Eric Soulan (both Fra)
TMO: Laurent Valin (Fra)