Leinster run in nine tries in rout of Southern Kings

Leinster run in nine tries in rout of Southern Kings
Max Deegan of Leinster on his way to scoring his side's seventh try during the Guinness PRO14 Round 16 match between Leinster and Southern Kings at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ed Byrne and Noel Reid both scored two first-half tries as Leinster thrashed Southern Kings 59-19 in the Guinness PRO14.

The runaway Conference B leaders had secured a bonus point by the 37th minute and ended up running in nine tries in total against their struggling South African opponents.

The Kings briefly led midway through the first half, with Bjorn Basson and Sarel Pretorius scoring in quick succession, but man-of-the-match Byrne's rapid-fire double and centre Reid's second of the night gave Leo Cullen's men a 24-12 interval advantage.

The youthful Leinster side, which included 21-year-old debutant hooker Ronan Kelleher, leaked a third try to Kings full-back Ulrich Beyers but rattled off five more of their own with Barry Daly, Andrew Porter, Max Deegan, Paddy Patterson and fellow replacement Rory O'Loughlin all touching down.

The South Africans, who have won just two games this season, fell behind to a fifth-minute try from Reid, whose well-timed line took him over beside the posts.

Ross Byrne knocked over the first of his seven successful conversions but the Kings hit back to lead 12-7 by the 20-minute mark.

Centre Basson crossed in the left corner and scrum half Pretorius burrowed over on the right after captain Mike Willemse had been stopped short from a maul.

It was all Leinster for the next few minutes during which prop Ed Byrne touched down twice.

Conor O'Brien and the forwards revelled as the hosts went the direct route and Ed Byrne duly muscled in under the posts.

Ross Byrne added the extras and then the seven-point lead was restored after a close-range surge made it a double for the 25-year-old front rower.

Some superb interplay between Fergus McFadden, with an offload out the back door, and Daly preceded Reid's bonus-point effort.

The home forwards initially pressed from a lineout and Ross Byrne's well-executed wraparound on the short side put the centre over.

In the second half, Bader Pretorius broke a tackle and released the supporting Beyers to finish off his try from the edge of the Leinster 22.

The try's creator converted but Daly profited from Ross Byrne's one-handed offload to accelerate away from Beyers for a 46th-minute response.

Tighthead Porter struck at the end of a prolonged attack in the 54th minute and the hosts finished with a three-try flourish in the final 16 minutes.

The ever-alert Deegan sprung through a gap and expertly arced his run to register his sixth try of the PRO14 campaign, O'Brien and O'Loughlin combined to send academy youngster Patterson over, and O'Loughlin stretched out of a tackle and in under the posts for try number nine.

- Press Association

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