Leinster end Edinburgh’s winning start with bonus-point success while Bulls put 50 on Zebre Parma

Planet Rugby
Leinster back-row Max Deegan scoring against Edinburgh.

Leinster back-row Max Deegan scoring against Edinburgh.

Leinster ended Edinburgh’s winning start to the United Rugby Championship campaign with a 36-27 bonus-point victory at the RDS Arena in Dublin.

Running out five-try winners at home for the second week running, Leo Cullen’s young side led 21-6 at half-time thanks to converted scores from Lee Barron, Max Deegan and Ciaran Frawley.

Edinburgh lock Glen Young’s yellow card saw their first-half deficit increase from four points to 15, despite Ben Healy responding with his second penalty.

The wind-backed Scots rallied with replacements James Lang, Connor Boyle and Boan Venter all crossing, but Leinster made sure to stay out of reach.

Third quarter tries from Tommy O’Brien and James Culhane, coupled with replacement Sam Prendergast’s 70th-minute penalty, ensured it was another maximum haul for the hosts.

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Former Munster fly-half Healy gave the fast-starting Scots a 17th-minute lead following a Hamish Watson steal, but they began the second quarter by conceding a soft try.

Tom Dodd spoiled a close-in Leinster lineout, but hooker Barron swooped on the breaking ball to touch down under Charlie Shiel’s tackle. Harry Byrne converted from the right for a 7-3 lead.

Edinburgh’s discipline let them down with repeated penalties, and with Young binned for offside, Deegan duly crashed over from close range.

Although Healy rewarded Edinburgh’s strong scrum with a penalty, his opposite number Byrne floated a pinpoint pass, over Duhan van der Merwe, to send Frawley over just before the interval.

Having blown a maul opportunity early in the second period, Edinburgh came under further pressure from the strong-running Jamie Osborne and O’Brien.

A deserved score followed for O’Brien, who evaded Matt Currie’s tackle after Charlie Ngatai and Byrne had neatly worked Barron into space. Byrne added the extras for a 28-6 advantage.

Edinburgh replied with a peach of a try, Lang going over from a Shiel pass. Blair Kinghorn’s excellent counter-attacking run did a lot of the damage, but a moment like that was too rare from Sean Everitt’s side.

Healy converted but was guilty of missing touch from penalties, and Leinster were too good when the try-line was in sight. Young number eight Culhane powered through a lineout drive to open his account for the province.

Edinburgh’s pack gave them a sniff with 14 minutes remaining, a well-executed maul putting Boyle over and Healy converted. Venter also scored following a Shiel snipe, but Prendergast’s well-struck penalty had Leinster too far in front.

David Kriel hat-trick seals Bulls win

Zebre Parma’s search for a United Rugby Championship victory goes on after they went down to a 54-29 defeat to the Bulls at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Zebre’s losing run was stretched to 28 as centre David Kriel went in for a hat-trick of tries, with Akker van der Merwe and Devon Williams crossing for two apiece. Sergeal Petersen also touched down, and Johan Goosen booted six conversions and Chris Smith one.

The Italians, though, did secure a try bonus-point thanks to scores from Jacopo Bianchi, Geronimo Prisciantelli, Scott Gregory and Lorenzo Pani. Prisciantelli added nine points with the boot.

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