Planet Rugby

Leinster steal it in Cardiff

07th March 2010 17:46

Share:

Bernard Jackman poin ting

Bernard Jackman: Scored the game-turning try

Leinster regained top spot in the Magners League from Edinburgh on Sunday after eking out a 29-20 win in Cardiff.

The Blues, who had won five in a row in all competitions, had an abundance of possession despite their troubles in the tight, but lacked the penetration to turn their attractive rugby into scores.

They now face serious problems in next season's Heineken Cup, with the Scarlets now just two points behind them with a game in hand in the battle for the third Welsh slot.

At first, it seemed the Blues were determined to emulate the national team, throwing the ball around only to concede points.

Lost possession in midfield allowed Leinster fly-half Shaun Berne to send Isa Nacewa up the wing and although the Irish were kept at bay, they recycled the ball and McFadden took an excellent angle to cross beneath the posts.

The centre added the conversion, followed by a penalty after the Blues had once again spilled the ball in their eagerness to play expansive rugby.

The home side finally got it right and prop Gary Powell - later to leave on a stretcher with an Achilles injury - squeezed in at the corner, but another McFadden penalty kept Leinster in front.

With the normally reliable Ben Blair off key in his attempts at the posts, the Blues opted to kick for position and it paid off when flanker Sam Warburton, released from Wales duty, dived over and Blair finally succeeded with the conversion.

McFadden struck another penalty with the last kick before the break, but the Blues began the second half with a sparkling attack which saw left wing Chris Czekaj make it to the flag and the Welshmen were in front.

Their lead did not last. A superb break by Eoin O'Malley took Leinster into the Blues' 22 and the centre found tireless hooker Bernard Jackman on his shoulder for a try which gave McFadden a simple conversion.

The Blues then lost fly-half Ceri Sweeney to the sin-bin for what was harshly ruled to be a spear tackle on opposite number Berne, but the home side managed to survive the 10 minutes without leaking any further points.

But Berne then dropped a goal which extended Leinster's lead and robbed the Blues of a losing bonus point.

They seemed to have retrieved it when Sweeney kicked a late penalty after Leinster lock Devin Toner was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on, only for that man McFadden to step up and slot over a penalty from halfway with the final kick of the game.

The scorers:

For Cardiff:
Tries: Powell, Warburton, Czekaj
Con: Blair
Pen: Sweeney

For Leinster:
Tries: McFadden, Jackman
Cons: McFadden 2
Pens: McFadden 4
Drop goal: Berne

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Tom James, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Tom Shanklin, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Xavier Rush, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Gary Powell, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Huw Dowden, 17 Scott Andrews, 18 Andries Pretorius, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Dafydd Hewitt.

Leinster: 15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Shaun Berne, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Stephen Keogh, 7 Shane Jennings (capt), 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Malcolm O'Kelly, 4 Devin Toner, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Bernard Jackman, 1 Stan Wright.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Mike Ross, 18 Trevor Hogan, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Paul O'Donohoe, 21 Ian Madigan, 22 Simon Keogh.

Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU)
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges (WRU), Phil Connett (WRU)
TMO: Hugh Watkins (WRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand15:00
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615