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Leinster take maximum at Dragons

01st March 2013 20:45

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Sean Cronin Leinster try pro12

Two tries: Sean Cronin

Leinster picked up a bonus-point win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade, prevailing 26-19 as Dave Kearney and Sean Cronin scored a brace apiece.

The victory is Leinster's eighth in a row and fortifies their play-off position in the PRO12.

The visitors made a scintillating start to the game when impressive work from Kearney resulted in Cronin crossing for his first try after only 68 seconds played. Ian Madigan converted brilliantly from the touchline to give Leinster a 7-0 lead.

The Dragons responded immediately through a Steffan Jones penalty before a succession of phase play made its way to the wide channel, where Cronin gratefully crossed for his second.

Leinster camped in the Dragons 22 and showed their ruthless intentions by turning down three kickable penalties in search of further tries. The decision paid off as Kearney scored the converted try after a powerful forward rumble from the Leinster pack to extend their lead to 19-3.

A further Jones penalty and a well-struck drop goal reduced the arrears to 19-9 going into the break, all without the services of the sin-binned Jack Dixon.

After the interval, the Dragons fight back continued when number eight Ieuan Jones went over for the home side's first try of the day to take the score to 19-14.

Leinster secured their bonus point when Kearney raced over for his second of the game after another bout of impressive handling saw the overlap created. Madigan added the extra's to take the score to 26-14 with less than 15 minutes remaining.

The Dragons refused to lie down and Jones took his personally tally to fourteen points when he scored in the final stages of the game.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: I Jones, S Jones
Pen: S Jones 2
Drop: S Jones

For Leinster:
Tries: Cronin 2, D Kearney 2
Con: Madigan 3

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Phil Price, 7 Sam Parry, 6 Nathan Buck, 5 Ian Nimmo, 4 Jevon Groves, 3 Lewis Evans (c), 2 Nic Cudd, 1 Ieuan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Dan Way, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Adam Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Tom Prydie, 23 Will Harries.

Leinster: 15 Luke Fitzgerald, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Rhys Ruddock, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mark Flanagan, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack O'Connell.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Eoin O'Malley.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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