Leinster see off Edinburgh

29th Oct 2011, 08:57

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Tight tussle: Leinster hold off the Scots

Tight tussle: Leinster hold off the Scots

Leinster battled to a 36-28 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield to cement their place in the top-four in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Leinster battled to a 36-28 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield to cement their place in the top-four in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Inspired by returning Ireland international Jonny Sexton, who kicked 24 points in an impressive display, the Irish province recorded their fifth victory of the season.

By contrast, Edinburgh continues to struggle despite outscoring their opponents three tries to two.

Both sides were bolstered by several World Cup returnees but it was Edinburgh in particular who were hoping their international stars would boost their ailing campaign.

And they got off to the perfect start when scrum-half Greg Laidlaw converted a penalty after five minutes.

However, visiting fly-half Sexton scored two of his own as the visitors hit back. But straight from the kick-off, wing Tim Visser went over for the hosts. Laidlaw added the extras and Edinburgh lead 10-6 midway through the first period.

Sexton then reduced the deficit before he converted Isaac Boss' touchdown. Edinburgh's scrum-half then brought his side to within three points, but Sexton reasserted Leinster's dominance as they went in 19-13 ahead at the break.

Despite looking in command, the Irish province was once again caught napping just after the restart when Visser scored his second converted try.

The two sides then traded penalties before number eight Leo Auva'a powered over to edge Leinster ahead.

Sexton added a further six points to his collection to seemingly put out of sight, but Edinburgh centre Matt Scott made it tense final few minutes before Fergus McFadden sealed victory.

The scorers:
For Edinburgh:
Tries: Visser 2, Scott
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 3

For Leinster:
Tries: Boss, Auva'a
Con: Sexton
Pens: Sexton 6, McFadden
Drop: Sexton

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Simon Webster, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matthew Scott, 111 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Steven Turnbull, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Jim Thompson, 23 Tom Brown

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Nathan White, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fionn Carr.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)