Leinster 36-19 Scarlets
LEINSTER STEPPED UP the preparation for their Heineken Cup double header with Northampton with a relatively easy bonus point win over the Scarlets this evening, a win that takes them four points behind Munster at the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table.
While the result was hardly ever in doubt with seven of the Scarlets’ potential starters having lost to Australia earlier in the afternoon, the nature of some of Leinster’s play, particularly that of Zane Kirchner, Luke Fitzgerald and Ian Madigan will have satisfied Matt O’Connor.
Brendan Macken’s early try set the tone for the home side, the young centre scampering over after good work from Madigan and Eoin Redden to set him free. A penalty try minutes later was quickly followed by Jack McGrath scoring beneath the posts to give Leinster a commanding lead before the half hour.
Leo Cullen was sin-binned for the hosts just before half-time but the Scarlets were unable to capitalise before the break. However, scrum-half Gareth Davis did score early in the second before some brilliant backs play secured their second score of the game in the 58th minute, Jordan Williams storming out of his own 22 before Gareth Maule eventually scored.
However, Leinster got the bonus point with a well-worked try of their own on the hour mark, Eoin Redden going over in the corner before Zane Kirchner finished the scoring for the home side.
While injuries to Shane Jennings and Martin Moore will raise some concerns ahead of next week’s trip to Franklin Gardens, there were more than enough positives for Leinster to draw on tonight.
Leinster: Z Kirchner; L Tuquiri, B Macken, G D’Arcy (J Gopperth 60), L Fitzgerald (D Fanning 63); I Madigan, E Reddan (L McGrath 63); J McGrath (M Bent 63), A Dundon (S Cronin 60), M Moore (M Ross 24); L Cullen, M McCarthy (T Denton 68); R Ruddock, S Jennings (capt) (D Ryan 56), J Murphy.
Scarlets: G Owen (J Williams 24); N Reynolds, G Maule (J Lewis 60), A Warren, F Climo; A Thomas, G Davies (A Davies 60); P John (capt) (R Evans h-t), K Myhill (E Phillips h-t), J Adriaanse (H Pungea h-t); J Ball, J Snyman (R Kelly 60); A Shingler, J Barclay, S Timani (J Turnbull 79).
Referee: I Davies (Wales)