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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26