Planet Rugby

Leinster reach the knockouts

15th January 2012 12:08

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Rob Kearney Leinster v Glasgow Heineken Cup Pool 3 Firhill Jan 2012

Second-half try: Rob Kearney

Leinster joined Irish rivals Munster in the Heineken Cup knockout stages after beating Glasgow 23-16 at Firhill in a workmanlike effort on Sunday.

It wasn't a pretty performance by any stretch of the imagination but the RDS outfit showed just why they are the champions as they ground to a win.

Glasgow did look capable of keeping their own hopes alive until, at 6-6, full-back Rob Kearney collected a bouncing ball and went over for a key try with three minutes on the second-half clock.

The Warriors did respond through replacement Colin Gregor, but when Isaac Boss came off the bench to go over on 68 minutes, Leinster had enough to hold on and head into the last-eight.

The spoils were level at half-time as the two sides traded penalties. Glasgow took an early lead when Leinster were penalised for an infringement at the ruck, and Duncan Weir was on target with the boot to make it 3-0 after six minutes.

Having missed an earlier opportunity to level the scores, Jonathan Sexton made no mistake with his second shot at goal on 28 minutes, after Glasgow had been penalised for holding on.

The hosts regained the lead in the final ten minutes of the first half through another Weir penalty, but the visitors levelled the scores with the last kick of the first period after Glasgow had infringed at the ruck.

Leinster began the second half strongly and were rewarded when a deft chip bounced kindly for Kearney who crashed over to score. Fergus McFadden's conversion made it 6-13.

Weir reduced the deficit on 50 minutes with a penalty but the seven-point cushion was restored when McFadden struck following scrum offence. As the game passed the hour mark it was Glasgow who got the try they needed to get themselves back in the game.

The hosts battered the visitors' line with some determined drives until they were to able to release Gregor in the corner. Weir's conversion made it 16-16 but Leinster hit back immediately, and when the video referee gave Boss's try, Glasgow were back to square one. But this time there'd be no equalising score and the visitors held on for victory.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Try: Gregor
Con: Weir
Pen: Weir 3

For Leinster:
Tries: R Kearney, Boss
Con: McFadden 2
Pen: Sexton, McFadden 2

Glasgow: 15 Rory Lamont, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Stuart Hogg, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Colin Shaw, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 John Barclay, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 John Welsh.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Ryan Grant, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Johnnie Beattie, 21 Colin Gregor, 22 Troy Nathan, 23 Scott Wight.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Heinke Van der Merwe, 18 Nathan White, 19 Damian Browne, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Eoin O'Malley.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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