Planet Rugby

Leinster slay the Dragons

08th September 2012 20:05

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Heineken Cup champions Leinster recorded their first victory of the new PRO12 season after defeating the Dragons 45-25 in Dublin on Saturday.

After Tom Prydie and Ian Madigan had registered three points apiece early on, Leinster struck the first meaningful blow with young winger Andrew Conway crossing after Noel Reid had made an excellent break.

The Irishmen weren't ahead for long though as Reid went from hero to villain, throwing a loose pass that was intercepted by fly-half Steffan Jones, who had just enough pace to run it in from well inside his own half for a try.

Two more Madigan penalties to just one from Prydie then edged the reigning Heineken Cup champions in front before Ben Marshall spotted a gap in the Dragons' defensive line and darted over from close range to stretch the lead.

Leinster are notoriously good frontrunners and the visitors didn't help themselves when prop Nathan Williams got himself sent to the sin bin in the dying stages of the first half.

The home side made them pay, Madigan adding another penalty to make it 26-13 at half-time before Shane Jennings powered over from a line-out drive and Fionn Carr finished off a typically fluid Leinster move to widen the gap to 25 points with 10 minutes gone in the second half.

The Dragons didn't throw in the towel though and tries from Prydie, who finished off a good break down the right-hand side, and full-back Dan Evans gave them hope of mounting an improbable comeback.

It wasn't to be though as Leinster held firm for the final quarter of the match and Brendan Macken added a bit of extra gloss to the victory in the final minute, making an interception and sprinting the length of the field to score the hosts' fifth try of the night.

The teams:

For Leinster:
Tries: Conway, Marshall, Jennings, Carr, Macken
Con: Madigan 3, Nacewa
Pen: Madigan 4

For Dragons:
Tries: Jones, Prydie, Evans
Con: Prydie 2
Pen: Prydie 2

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 John Cooney, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Ben Marshall, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Colm O'Shea, 23 Darren Hudson.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Jevon Groves (c), 6 Hywel Stoddart, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Hallam Amos.

Referee: Marius Mitrea

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