Leinster hold on in Cardiff

Date published: February 20 2016

Leinster survived a late scare at the Arms Park as they held on for a 14-13 victory over Cardiff Blues in their PRO12 clash on Saturday.

The visitors were able to battle past the Welsh side, despite having two players sent to the sin-bin during the game.

A second-half try from Isa Nacewa had opened up a gap between the two sides, before Josh Navidi dabbed down to bring Cardiff Blues within a point following the conversion.

A quick start to the game saw Gareth Anscombe open Cardiff Blues' account after three minutes, before Ian Madigan levelled the score moments later.

Madigan then attempted to take the visitors ahead from 40 metres, but his kick struck the posts after soaring through the windy conditions. 

With assistance from the TMO, referee Peter Fitzgibbon then decided to send Fergus McFadden to the sin-bin after 24 minutes, having tackled Rhys Patchell without using his arms. Anscombe failed to convert the resulting penalty.

With the final kick of the half, Madigan gave Leinster the half-time lead from the tee, but Anscombe levelled the scores at 6-6 in the opening exchanges of the second period.

Madigan then took the score to 9-6 from the tee, with the Cardiff Blues forwards penalised at the breakdown yet again.

A try from Nacewa then opened up some breathing space between the teams, after Jack Conan found space down the left before finding the winger to finish the job. Madigan failed to add the extras.

With Leinster down to fourteen after Jordi Murphy was sent to the sin-bin, Navidi barged his way over the line after a strong driving maul from the hosts. The boot of Patchell took them within a single point, with three minutes remaining.

With the final kick of the game, Patchell couldn't rescue the win for Cardiff Blues with his drop-goal attempt being charged down, as Leinster maintain their challenge for top spot in the PRO12 league.

The scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:
Try: Navidi
Con: Patchell
Pen: Anscombe 2

For Leinster:
Try: Nacewa
Pen: Madigan 3

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Blaine Scully, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams (c), 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 James Down, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Bradley Thyer, 18 Taufa’ao Filise, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Tom James, 23 Dan Fish

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Isa Nacewa (c), 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Adam Byrne

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies (Wales), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)