Leinster bounced back from defeat by Glasgow last weekend to secure a bonus point win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield last night in a confidence-restoring performance.
Impressive for Leinster were centres Noel Reid and Garry Ringrose but it was the return of several experienced campaigners that gave greater confidence to the visitors.
Despite Leinster’s doiminace for so much of the game it was Edinburgh who started the quicker scoring after only 1min 43 seconds of play with a try from Edinburgh’s right wing MIke Allen from a finely judged kick by Phil Burleigh. efence.
Weir missed the touchline conversion attempt but the recently transferred from Glasgow outside half was on target with a penalty kick just four minutes later to out Edinburgh ahead by 8-0.
Leinster, however, quickly countered when Noel Reid put Dan Leavy into space giving the back row a clear romp to the tryline, leaving Nacewa with a simple straight on conversion kick.
The visitors then increased their lead with Garry Ringrose going over for a try converted by Nacewa.
Leinster did not have long to wait to for their next score. This time it ended with Isa Nacewa strolling in for his side’s third try and Nacewa’s third conversion.
The Murrayfield fans again went quiet when Leinster kicked to the corner and from a well worked move scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park dummied from close range for the bonus point try.
Edinburgh’s woes were compounded by the sin-binning on the stroke of half time of their skipper Grant Gilchrist for collapsing the maul leaving a gutted home side to troop into the dressing room trailing 8-26.
Five minutes into the second half Leinster were likewise reduced to fourteen after Dan Leavy was shown the yellow card for a tip tackle on the Edinburgh scrum half Nathan Fowles. It was the confidence lift the home side needed, resulting in a try by flanker Hamish Watson, Weir adding the extras.
Edinburgh were close to scoring again when Glenn Bryce chased a cross kick but his foot was judged to be in touch before the full back touched down in the corner.
It proved to the end of Edinburgh immediate threat. Leinster changed their front row and that seemed to revitalise the visitors.
But finally Leinster’s defence cracked, as replacement lock Fraser McKenzie sprinted to the line before off-loading to Magnus Bradbury giving the Edinburgh back row his second try in two games.
It seemed that Edinburgh had earned an unlikley bonus points only for Leavy to spoil the muted home celebrations with an 80th minute close range try converted by Nacewa to seal a return-to-form win.
Tries: Allen, Watson, Bradbury. Cons: Weir. Pens: Weir.
Tries: Leavy 2, G. Ringrose, Nacewa, Gibson-Park. Cons: Nacewa 4.
G. Bryce, Allen, Tolfilau, Burleigh, Brown, Weir, Fowles, Sutherland, Ford, Nel, B. Toolis, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Watson, Fihaki.
Dell for Sutherland (56), K. Bryce for Nel (66), McKenzie for Gilchrist (65), Du Preez for Fihaki (56).
Kirchner, Nacewa, G. Ringrose, Reid, D. Kearney, Carbery, Gibson-Park, J. McGrath, Cronin, Ross, Toner, McCarthy, Murphy, Leavy, Heaslip.
Marsh for Carbery (72), L. McGrath for Gibson-Park (61), Healy for J. McGrath (50), B. Byrne for Cronin (50), Furlong for Ross (50), Molony for McCarthy (56), van der Flier for Murphy (65).
David Wilkinson (Ireland).
Cardiff Blues 23 Glasgow 19
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved