Planet Rugby

Six-try Leinster hammer Sarries

15th January 2011 13:00

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Isa Nacewa leinster hec 2010

Flying full-back: Isa Nacewa

Leinster booked a spot in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, securing a bonus point as they beat Saracens 43-20 at the RDS.

In a dominant display, the former European champions put their hands up as serious contenders for this season's title as they ran six tries past their visitors.

The result means that Leinster are sure to finish top of Pool Two with one round to play.

Three tries from the Leinster loose forwards gave the hosts a 22-12 lead at half-time. Three more tries from the back-line in the second period made sure the RDS faithful went home very happy.

Number eight Sean O'Brien was first to cross the whitewash, finishing off a try inspired by full-back Isa Nacewa whose initial break set up the attack before he provided the decisive pass inside.

The Irish side were to move further ahead when flank Dominic Ryan crossed for his first of two tries as Leinster shifted the ball across the field and back again.

Sarries were allowed back into the fight however when wing James Short intercepted a loose pass and finished under the posts. The visitors then added their second as flank Kelly Brown crossed to round off a movement featuring some excellent interpassing

Leinster were in control however and made sure they had a healthy lead by half time as Jonny Sexton added a penalty before Ryan was the recipient of a Shane Jennings offload to score his second try.

Saracens brought Gavin Henson on in the second period, but it was the Leinster midfield who would strike when Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll combined to free Fergus McFadden in acres of space to score their crucial fourth try soon after the restart.

That seemed to throw the shackles off and tries from Nacewa and Eoin O'Malley put the game to bed just after the hour mark.

The team in blue seemed to be easing down into the quarter-finals when Nile Mordt grabbed a consolation try for well-beaten Sarries at the death.

Man of the match: We'll go for a collective award here for the Leinster loose trio. Their contribution was summed up in Leinster's third try, Ryan's second, which gave the hosts a ten-point cushion just before half time. It was started and finish by the home back row - O'Brien bust the line, Sexton sent a long pass wide to Jennings, who offloaded to Ryan to score: Just reward for a sterling performance from the back row. Saracens were doing well to stay in the contest until then, but were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the afternoon...

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: O'Brien, Ryan 2, McFadden, Nacewa, O'Malley
Cons: Sexton 5
Pen: Sexton

For Saracens:
Tries: Short, Brown, Mordt
Con: Farrell
Pens: Farrell

Yellow card: Toner (Leinster - 78th min)

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Luke Fitzgerald , 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Clint Newland, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Eoin O'Malley.

Saracens: 15 Nils Mordt, 14 David Strettle, 13 Michael Tagicakibau, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Hugh Vyvyan, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Justin Melck, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Noah Cato.

Referee: Romain Poite

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