Planet Rugby

Leinster power clear at summit

29th March 2008 19:15

Share:

Ollie Le Roux Leinster

Prop Star: Ollie le Roux crossed the line for Leinster

Leinster cemented their place at the Magners League summit as they recorded a clinical 24-10 victory over the Scarlets at Stradey Park on Saturday.

Tries from props Ollie le Roux and Stan Wright set the tone in the first-half and Malcolm O'Kelly's score in the second kept the Welsh at bay to all but right off their own title aspirations.

In torrential conditions Leinster were indebted to their forwards, notably lock O'Kelly who was making a record 140th appearance for the Irish province.

In heavy rain and on a muddy pitch the Scarlets found themselves completely out-muscled up front especially in the set scrummage, where they were without first choice props Iestyn Thomas (dead leg) and Deacon Manu (banned).

In the end it was no surprise Leinster went in at half-time with a 17-3 lead.

The league leaders mauled and then rucked their way to the line before the big frame of le Roux burrowed over. Felipe Contepomi converted to give the visitors a 7-0 lead in the thirteenth minute.

The Scarlets got themselves into the contest almost immediately from the restart with a Stephen Jones penalty after Contepomi went in from the side of a ruck.

But Leinster kept coming at the Scarlets and from a five-metre scrum the home pack conceded a penalty. It was surprising Leinster did not opt for another scrum but instead Contepomi kicked the goal to give the Irish side a 10-3 advantage in the 27th minute.

The pressure just did not ease as the game neared half-time with full-back Rob Kearney not too far away with a long-range drop-goal attempt.

Stephen Jones missed a penalty and just before half-time prop Wright squeezed over for the second try, a score awarded after it was referred to the television match official.

However, the Scarlets made a significant change at half-time with Matthew Rees brought on in place of Mahonri Schwalger.

And the home side began to enjoy a concerted period with ball in hand and in the Leinster 22.

Twice Dwayne Peel went on sniping runs and then Nathan Thomas, a blood-bin replacement for Alix Popham, went very close before Leinster scrum-half Chris Whitaker was sin-binned for ball killing.

And with the extra man the Scarlets put the match back in the melting pot as Dafydd Jones went in for a try on 54 minutes converted by Stephen Jones.

But it was not in doubt for long as fourteen-man Leinster immediately went up the other end and scored their third try within three minutes.

Keeping it in the forwards as the rain intensified, O'Kelly crashed over with the Contepomi conversion restoring a fourteen-point advantage they were never going to relinquish.

The Scorers:

For the Scarlets:

Tries: James

Con: S Jones

Pen: S Jones

For Leinster:

Tries: le Roux, Wright, O'Kelly

Con: Contepomi 3

Pen: Contepomi

Yellow card: Whitaker (Leinster - 51 mins), Blaney (Leinster - 60 mins)

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Morgan Stoddart, 14 Dafydd James, 13 Regan King, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Mark Jones, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Dwayne Peel (c), 8 Alix Popham, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dafydd Jones, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Mahronri Schwalger, 1 Phil John.

Replacements: 16 Ben Broster, 17 Matthew Rees, 18 Adam Eustace, 19 Nathan Thomas, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Ceiron Thomas, 22 Matthew Watkins.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Michael Berne, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Chris Whitaker, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Stephen Keogh, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Stan Wright, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Ollie le Roux.

Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Cian Healy / Stephen Knoop, 18 Trevor Hogan, 19 Cameron Jowitt / Keith Gleeson, 20 Chris Keane, 21 Christian Warner, 22 Girvan Dempsey.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Touch judges: Hugh Watkins (Wales), Simon Harris (Wales)

Television match official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00