Leinster surge back to the top

Date published: November 5 2016

An Adam Byrne hat-trick saw Leinster returned to the top of the PRO12 table as they secured a 33-10 bonus point win at the Stadio Sergio.

Byrne's three tries were added to by Thomas Daly and Jack Conan, with Isa Nacewa adding eight points from the tee. Leinster's Mike McCarthy was sent to the sin-bin early in the game, and Zebre made the extra man pay with a score from Dries van Schalkwyk. 

The Italians took the lead in Parma through back-row van Schalkwyk, who carried over from the back of a rolling maul, allowing Carlo Canna to make it 7-0.

Leinster found a reply just four minutes later as Ross Byrne's chip was collected by Adam Byrne, who found Daly to carry over on his debut. Nacewa's conversion levelled the scoring. 

Edoardo Padovani's drop goal attempt was sliced wide after half an hour, but a penalty from Carlo Canna moments later put his hosts back in to the lead. Debutante Daly then turned provider, finding Adam Byrne on the wing to score an unconverted try, giving the visitors a 12-10 lead at half time. 

Byrne got his second shortly after the break after collecting Jamison Gibson-Park's flat pass to carry over unchallenged. Nacewa, having missed his last attempt at goal, nailed the conversion from wide on the right. Conan's score came after a great showing of fast hands across the Leinster backs, securing the bonus point on the 57-minute mark. Nacewa slotted the conversion again, making it 26-10 in the visitors' favour.

Leinster weren't stopping there though, and nine minutes later Adam Byrne collected Ross Byrne's cross-field kick above Zebre full-back Padovani to dot down, before Nacewa added the extras.

The scorers

For Zebre:
Van Schalkwyk
Con: Canna
Pen: Canna

For Leinster:
 Tom Daly, Conan, Byrne 3
Cons: Nacewa 4

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Charles Reed, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Maxime Mbanda, 5 George Biagi, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D'Apice, 1 Andrea Lovotti
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 William Palazzani, 22 Carlo Engelbrecht, 23 Simone Toys

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Tom Daly, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Barry Daly, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Dan Leavy, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Dominic Ryan, 23 Hugo Keenan

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Filippo Bertelli (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (Italy)