Leinster let rip against Edinburgh

Leinster let rip against Edinburgh
Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Leinster 40 - 14 Edinburgh

Leinster strung together four second-half tries as they handed Edinburgh a 40-14 defeat at the RDS Main Arena that ended the Scots’ winning start to the Guinness PRO14 season.

It was a third successive bonus-point victory for the reigning PRO14 champions, who had a spread of scores from Caelan Doris, Scott Penny and replacements Michael Milne and Rowan Osborne in a dominant 23-minute second-half spell. It was Osborne’s first senior score for Leinster.

They had to bounce back from the sin-binnings of Michael Bent and Joe Tomane, in quick succession, to lead 12-7 at half-time.

Wind-backed Edinburgh briefly led through Jamie Farndale’s 31st-minute try, but Bent burrowed over with 44 minutes on the clock to add to man-of-the-match Jamison Gibson-Park’s earlier unconverted effort.

Edinburgh, who had a late consolation try from lively replacement Charlie Shiel, emerged unscathed from a series of early penalties.

Ross Byrne pulled a difficult place-kick wide into the wind and a possible try from a maul, which saw fit-again flanker Penny held up by Pierre Schoeman, was chalked off for obstruction.

The wind foiled a Byrne penalty again in the 11th minute but the deadlock was broken soon after, the home backs clicking to release Dave Kearney on the right and his offload bounced loose but was expertly dotted down by the supporting Gibson-Park past the try-line.

Byrne was unable to convert following the TMO review, and Edinburgh’s front row led their response, forcing three scrum penalties in front of the home posts.

Tighthead Bent saw yellow and despite the Leinster scrum subsequently holding firm, the Scots worked the ball wide for winger Farndale to finish off and Jaco Van Der Walt converted.

It was a double blow for Leinster, who lost Tomane to the bin, referee Ben Whitehouse carding him for sliding in with his knees just as Farndale touched down.

However, their seven-man scrum duly won a penalty and the Irish province’s decision to turn down a late kick paid off, Bent driving over from close range with Ronan Kelleher and Doris on the latch.

Doris crossed within two minutes of the restart, Leinster showing all the early aggression and the young number eight ran hard off Gibson-Park’s pass to bounce off two tackles and crash over.

They then went through the phases off a five-metre scrum, Penny’s low drive for the line making it 26-7.

The game broke up further for the final half an hour, James Lowe and Nick Haining exchanging lung-busting breaks and Edinburgh blowing a chance with an overthrown lineout.

Duhan Van Der Merwe saved a certain try for Rory O’Loughlin near the right corner, following a Tomane interception.

Twenty-year-old prop Milne scored for the second week running, with Devin Toner’s tip-on pass a key moment in the build-up, and Osborne grabbed the try of the night, getting on the end of Lowe’s superb offload after Jimmy O’Brien’s initial dummy and injection of pass through a gap. Both scores were converted by the Byrne brothers.

Edinburgh got on the front foot for the closing stages, Shiel’s clever 71st-minute dummy from a scrum pulling back seven points.

The remaining minutes were played out deep in Leinster territory, the visitors’ frustration obvious when they missed out on what would have been a breathtaking team try as Lowe intercepted just a few metres out from his own line.

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