Clinical Leinster go four clear as Warriors dismissed

THE BIG guns will return to Leinster next week and they’ll be patting their teammates in the extended squad on the back after they completed their third win during the Six Nations.

This Magners League result leaves the European champions with clear sight of the semi-finals after they comfortably dismissed play-off-chasing Glasgow Warriors at the RDS.

One note of real concern for Michael Cheika was the first-half departure of blindside Kevin McLaughlin, who emerged later with his arm in a sling.

Should it prove serious, the injury will further weaken the Australian’s back-row options ahead of the impending visit of Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals in an already depleted department.

Fergus McFadden opened the scoring for the hosts with a fourth minute penalty after the Warriors were penalised for wheeling the scrum and Ruaridh Jackson missed a chance to level just four minutes later with a missed penalty from within range.

Glasgow had made the more positive start, however, and they were rewarded for a spell of dominance 17 minutes in – just when Leinster thought they’d alleviated the pressure.

Jackson had given his side field position with a clever kick to the corner, and Bernard Jackman was lucky to escape as his throw went long and the enterprising Calum Forrester pounced, only to be held up shy of the line.

From the resultant scrum, the Scots tried to bash their way through but after 14 phases, the hosts eventually forced a turnover and first Paul O’Donohoe and then McFadden cleared their lines.

But the Warriors’ attacking spirit wasn’t to be dimmed as Hefin O’Hare had a cut from outside his own ‘22, rounding Shaun Berne before leaving McLaughlin for dead for an excellent individual try.

Jackson converted, but his kick from the restart was charged down by Devin Toner and from the resultant drop out, Glasgow were pinged, allowing McFadden to kick his second penalty with a quarter of the match gone.

The centre was at the heart of everything his side were doing well, and he put Leinster ahead with a fine try two minutes later.

Malcolm O’Kelly tapped the lineout ball down to Paul O’Donohoe, who fed Berne. He found McFadden who hit Isa Nacewa on the loop and the Fijian international closed in on the line, drew Bernardo Stortoni and sent McFadden over under the posts.

He converted his own try, and the blues were further ahead just before the break as after losing McLaughlin, his replacement, the highly thought of Eoin Sheriff, brilliantly stole a lineout on the Warriors five metre line, from a excellently angled Nacewa ball.

Leinster mauled the ball just short of the line, Nacewa and Mike Ross probed the line before O’Donohoe set up Girvan Dempsey to score, McFadden converting to give his side a 20-7 lead at the interval.

The centre was replaced at the interval, and his influenced was missed as the benches emptied and the flow of the game was affected.

Glasgow finally broke the stale spell with 12 minutes remaining when, after a period of dominance, sub fly-half Colin Gregor brought his side into bonus point territory by seeing space on the blind side and cruising over untouched from Mark McMillan’s neat pass.

He converted his own try and the score ignited the game again as Simon Keogh broke brilliantly from inside his own ‘22, fed O’Donohoe who, in turn, found Michael Keating.

The flying winger, only just on the pitch, tried to step inside the cover but found that scoring at this level is a little trickier than the AIL where he is prolific for Clontarf and turned the ball over. Glasgow pushed for a winning score, but another brilliant Sheriff steal ended their hopes as Leinster now sit four points clear a top the table.

Scorers for Leinster: F McFadden 1 try, 2 cons, 2 pens, G Dempsey 1 try.

Glasgow Warriors: C Gregor 1 try, 1 con, H O’Hare 1 try, R Jackson 1 con.

LEINSTER – G Dempsey; Simon Keogh, E O’Malley, F McFadden (I Madigan h-r), I Nacewa; S Berne (M Keating 65), P O’Donohoe; CJ van der Linde (S Wright h-t), B Jackman (R Strauss 77), M Ross (van der Linde 59); D Toner, M O’Kelly; K McLaughlin (E Sheriff 32), P Ryan, Stephen Keogh.

GLASGOW WARRIORS – B Stortoni; H O’Hare, P Murchie, P Horne (D McCall 70), DTH van der Merwe; R Jackson (C Gregor 48), M McMillan; J Welsh, D Hall (M Low 48), E Kalman (M Low 48); T Barker, D Turner; J Eddie (P Burke 48), C Forrester, R Vernon.

Referee: – N Owens (WRU).

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