United Rugby Championship: Leinster too good for Edinburgh while Glasgow edge Munster

Colin Newboult

Leinster sealed their seventh victory of their United Rugby Championship campaign after overcoming Edinburgh 26-7 at the RDS Arena.

In a physical first half, the Irish province eventually got on top and touched down twice through Scott Penny and Nick McCarthy for a 14-0 advantage.

They then controlled matters in the second period and sealed the bonus-point as Vakh Abdaladze and Max Deegan went over to confirm the bonus-point win.

Emiliano Boffelli crossed the whitewash late on for the Scotsmen but they fell to their third league defeat of the campaign.

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Young flanker Martin Moloney came in for his first Leinster start, a late replacement for Rhys Ruddock (quad), who handed the captaincy to Ross Molony.

The returning Dave Kearney had an early break, but openside Boyle’s turnover penalty sparked Edinburgh into life in a bruising and breathless opening.

Mesu Kunavula had a try ruled out for a double movement after Boffelli was stopped just short of the Leinster line.

The Scots continued to operate at a high tempo, until Boyle was binned for making contact with Ciaran Frawley’s head following an initial tackle by Charlie Savala.

Frawley’s unfortunate departure was quickly followed by the opening try, Penny muscling in under the posts for Ross Byrne to convert.

Fourteen-man Edinburgh frustrated Leinster until a Deegan break opened up the defence, scrum-half McCarthy quickly sniping for Byrne to make it 14-0.

Leinster misfired just before the interval, Josh Murphy fumbling an attacking line-out, and early on the resumption Edinburgh botched a certain try for Ramiro Moyano due to Henry Immelman’s forward pass.

Leinster’s bench helped them regain their clinical edge, Moloney driving up close before Penny sent prop Abdaladze plunging over for an unconverted 66th-minute try.

Deegan bagged the bonus point a few minutes later, centre Rory O’Loughlin’s initial break from deep doing the damage before Deegan was able to stretch over from a Byrne pass.

Jaco van der Walt’s flat pass then sent Boffelli slaloming over impressively from Leinster’s 10-metre line. He converted his own try, the only consolation during a spritely finish from Edinburgh.

Spirited Glasgow edge past Munster

Glasgow Warriors moved just one point behind leaders Ulster in the United Rugby Championship after showing tremendous resilience to defeat Munster 13-11 at Scotstoun.

It was a poor game but Glasgow controlled the first half and took a 10-3 advantage into the interval thanks to Scott Cummings’ try and Duncan Weir’s penalty.

Ben Healy responded for the Irish province before Weir re-established the Warriors’ 10-point buffer in the second period.

The visitors had been poor but, after Healy had closed the gap, Jean Kleyn’s score gave replacement Jack Crowley a chance to level matters. However, Crowley was unable to convert and the hosts held on for their seventh league win this season.

Playing into the light wind in the first half, Glasgow had the better of most of it after edging ahead with a penalty from fly-half Weir.

They struggled to make further inroads, though, with a scything break from Sam Johnson, dropped from the Scotland squad after playing in last week’s win over England, the highlight of a frustrating period.

It all turned in the final seconds of the half when first Munster drew level with a Healy penalty after a rare period of pressure. Glasgow kicked off deep, Munster set up a routine ruck for Neil Cronin to clear their lines only for Scott Cummings, another discarded by Scotland, to stretch his 6ft 7in frame and charge the kick down.

He was first to the ball and had the height and strength to reach out and ground the ball. With Weir converting, Glasgow had the 10-3 interval lead their dominance deserved.

The second half turned out to be more of the same, though this time it was Munster, now playing into the wind, who had more of the game.

They were helped by some sloppy kicking from Glasgow, who put the ball out on the full several times, scuppering their plan to play for territory.

It looked as though they may pay the penalty when co-captain Fraser Brown used his hand to push the ball out of a ruck and was sin-binned for the cynical foul.

Though they did manage to edge further ahead with Weir’s second penalty, Munster were mostly in charge and a scrum penalty gave Healy three points.

Munster were beginning to win territory, however, and even when the Scots were back up to 15 men they were able to take advantage. They set up camp on the home line until Glasgow ran out of defenders and lock Kleyn went over.

Crucially, replacement fly-half Crowley missed the tricky conversion and, although they had a few nervous moments, Glasgow managed to hold out to the finish.

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