Leinster notch fourth win on the trot

Leinster 33 Edinburgh 8

Leinster notch fourth win on the trot

Leinster 33 Edinburgh 8

Leinster made it four straight wins in all competitions with a bonus point success against injury-hit Edinburgh at the RDS.

Two tries from back rowers Dominic Ryan and Jack Conan had Leinster 12-0 up in as many minutes, with Tom Heathcote replying with a lone penalty before half-time.

Heathcote had a disappointing night with the boot, though, and man-of-the-match Ryan’s 52nd-minute try coupled with a Ben Marshall score put Leinster clear before Tomas Leonardi and Mick McGrath swapped late tries.

The only sour point for the hosts was that centre Ben Te’o’s debut only lasted 19 minutes as he picked up a hand injury, while Wallaby lock Kane Douglas was also forced off in the first half.

Edinburgh made the trip without 20 players, 18 of whom are out injured at present, and were given little hope of claiming their first victory in Dublin in nine years.

Flanker Ryan sneaked over for the opening try from close range, catching the Edinburgh defence off guard after they had initially done well to halt a third-minute maul.

Jimmy Gopperth missed the conversion but was heavily involved, running hard and kicking intelligently to create early attacking opportunities for Luke Fitzgerald and Zane Kirchner.

The Leinster out-half opened his account with a much better conversion of Conan’s effort on the right, as the young number eight shrugged off Leonardi’s tackle to coast over.

Heathcote pulled his first shot at the posts – a 16th minute penalty attempt - wide, and three minutes later rugby league convert Te’o had to make way.

The injuries kept coming for Edinburgh with prop Allan Fell limping off, but they deservedly got off the mark thanks to Heathcote’s 23rd-minute penalty.

The Scots began to get Tim Visser involved as they built through the phases, a snappy break from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne giving them further momentum before Heathcote blundered with a second poor penalty miss.

Leinster pressed for a try just before the interval but prop Tadhg Furlong was stopped short from Luke McGrath’s brilliant blind pass.

Fitzgerald ignited the Leinster attack on the resumption by jinking past three Edinburgh players, however both sides were guilty of some aimless play during a turgid third quarter.

Leinster lifted the intensity to create a second try for Ryan, a close-in penalty and line-out resulting in the Ireland hopeful crossing for a seven-pointer from a well-executed drive.

The visitors hammered away during a prolonged spell near the Leinster line, but Ryan came up with the turnover after Darragh Fanning had thwarted Edinburgh captain Andries Strauss.

The bonus point arrived for Leinster in the 63rd minute when a quickly-taken line-out saw replacements Isaac Boss and Peter Dooley pile through, and Tom Denton’s pass off the deck put his second row partner Marshall over for a converted try.

Edinburgh deserved their 75th minute try as replacements Greig Tonks and George Turner made headway up the right touchline before the latter’s pass out of a tackle sent Leonardi clear for the corner.

Leinster made sure they had the final say though, Gopperth and Fitzgerald combining to good effect as they sent replacement McGrath over for his second PRO12 try of the season.

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