Planet Rugby

Leinster slay the Dragons

12th September 2009 20:50

Share:

Isa Nacewa versus Harlequins

Try-scorer: Isa Nacewa

Leinster recorded their first victory of the new Magners League season with a 23-14 success against the Dragons at the RDS on Saturday.

Nathan Hines and Eoin Reddan made their competitive debuts for the Dubliners as the European champions scored a workmanlike win.

The introduction of the pair midway through the second half - along with Hines' Lions colleague Gordon D'Arcy - helped Leinster battle to their first victory this term.

Despite losing Gavin Thomas and Ashley Smith to the sin-bin in the first half, the Dragons were just 9-6 behind until free-running full-back Isa Nacewa burst clear for Leinster's only try.

His opposite number Martyn Thomas replied with a well-worked try and while a penalty from James Arlidge cut the gap to six points again, Leinster sealed the result with a late drop-goal from Shaun Berne.

Boosted by last week's home defeat of Ulster, the Welshmen showed confidence on the ball early on with Wayne Evans building momentum with his forwards.

Debutant winger David Kearney was sprung for a 40-metre gallop that drew the 15,145-strong crowd's approval, but Leinster struggled to capitalise on their breaks.

The deadlock was broken on fourteen minutes when Jonathan Sexton slotted the first of his four penalty successes - only for Arlidge to response quickly, after Kevin McLaughlin was pulled up for a binding offence.

Thomas' sin-binning for killing the ball preceded another Sexton penalty. Down to fourteen men, the Dragons maintained possession impressively with Smith and Grant Webb heavily involved.

The visitors engineered a drop goal shot, which Arlidge pushed wide, and a chip chase from Richard Fussell did not come off in the left corner.

The nip-and-tuck nature of the game continued. A forceful run through the middle from man of the match Sean O'Brien lifted Leinster and Cian Healy was inches away from nabbing a try.

Smith walked, seven minutes before the break, for spoiling at a ruck. Leinster had to settle for another Sexton kick and the Dragons' determined drives forward were rewarded on the stroke of half-time with an Arlidge drop goal.

An eye injury prevented Dragons stand-in captain Luke Charteris from returning for the second half and they needed flanker Thomas to produce a crucial steal as Leinster piled forward.

The Dragons' resistance was finally broken on 54 minutes. The try was worth the admission price alone - a sumptuous wrap-around between Sexton and Berne set D'Arcy free near halfway and his well-placed pass put Nacewa thundering past Fussell and over from 30 metres out. Berne tagged on a drop-goal soon after as Leinster led 17-6.

The Dragons maintained their composure and hit back when Tom Riley tied up D'Arcy near the Leinster 22, allowing Fussell the time and space to put full-back Thomas through for an unconverted try.

Sexton steadied the home ship with a close-range penalty but the Leinster outside half saw yellow for a ruck offence and Arlidge kicked the Dragons to a likely bonus point.

However, Leinster pressed on and Berne's final-minute drop-goal confirmed the Irish province's tenth successive win at the RDS.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Nacewa
Pen: Sexton 4
Drop: Berne 2

For Dragons:
Tries: Thomas
Pen: Alridge 2
Drop: Alridge

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Shaun Berne, 11 David Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Chris Keane, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 John Fogarty, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Stan Wright, 18 Nathan Hines, 19 Stephen Keogh, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Gordon D'Arcy, 22 Simon Keogh.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Richard Fussell, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 tbc, 7 Grant Webb, 6 Gavin Thomas, 5 Luke Charteris (capt), 4 Robert Sidoli, 3 Nigel Hall, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Ali McKenzie.
Replacements: 16 Duane Goodfield, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Gethin Robinson, 19 Adam Jones, 20 James Harris, 21 Jason Tovey, 22 Alex Walker.

Referee: Graham Knox (Scotland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
Television match official: Tom Redmond (Ireland)
Assessor: Tom Aplin (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821