Planet Rugby

Four-try Leinster dominate Blues

27th September 2013 21:21

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Leinster outscored Cardiff Blues four tries to two to claim a 34-20 Pro12 victory at the RDS in Dublin on Friday.

Fly-half Ian Madigan scored 19 points as Leinster secured a bonus point at a packed RDS.

Tries from Sean Cronin, Dominic Ryan, Madigan and a penalty try sealed the win for the Irish side who bounced back from last week's disappointing defeat to Glasgow.

Alex Cuthbert scored the pick of the tries with a stunning solo effort from the halfway line but Cardiff, despite a late try from Cory Allen, were largely outplayed by a powerful Leinster side.

The visitors started brightly and took an early lead as Lions star Leigh Halfpenny, after missing with an earlier attempt, kicked a penalty after Leinster skipper Jamie Heaslip was punished for a shoulder charge on Andries Pretorius.

Centre Owen Williams made two impressive breaks as Cardiff dominated possession in the opening stages but Leinster, with their first attack of the match, took the lead as hooker Sean Cronin gathered Brian O'Driscoll's pass and finished with aplomb from 15 metres out.

Madigan, taking over at 10 from Jimmy Gopperth, added the extras before kicking his first penalty of the evening as the reigning champions turned up the heat on their Welsh opponents.

Matt O'Connor's side were flying through the gears and would have had a second try but for a knock on from scrum-half Isaac Boss metres from the try-line.

Madigan slotted home a second penalty to hand Leinster a 10 point lead with just over a quarter played.

After enduring a wave of attacks, Halfpenny reduced Cardiff's deficit with his second penalty of the evening on the half hour mark.

But Leinster continued to pick holes in Cardiff's defence as O'Driscoll broke free before releasing Rob Kearney on the left wing but the Ireland international was hauled down by Rhys Patchell on Cardiff's five metre line.

Leinster were rampant in the second period and with a man advantage, as Blues lock Filo Paulo was sin-binned for going over the top, referee Marius Mitrea awarded the hosts a penalty try after a powerful scrum on Cardiff's five metre line.

Madigan kicked the conversion to give Leinster a 14 point lead but despite being a man down, the Blues hit back in sensational style as Cuthbert beat a hosts of players to run in a try from halfway.

Halfpenny had the simple task of adding the conversion as Cardiff clawed themselves back to within a converted try of the home side.

But just as the visitors started to build momentum, Ryan scored Leinster's third try from a driving maul after Madigan kicked a close range penalty into touch. The fly-half added the two points from the boot and as the hosts looked to secure a bonus point, Madigan kicked another penalty into touch.

Leinster were rewarded as the number 10 crashed his way over the try-line before adding the conversion to seal the bonus point.

Replacement Allen intercepted Jack McGrath's sloppy pass to score a late consolation for Cardiff, with Patchell converting but the damage had already been done as Leinster secured their second win of the new campaign.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Cronin, Penalty try, Ryan, Madigan
Cons: Madigan 4
Pens: Madigan 2

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Cuthbert, Allen
Cons: Patchell
Pens: Halfpenny 2
Yellow card: Paulo

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Brendan Macken.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees (capt), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Cory Allen.

Venue: RDS, Dublin
Referee: Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant Referees: M Patton, B O'Connell (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (IRFU)
TMO: Alan Rogan (IRFU)

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