Leinster run in 8 tries to steamroll hapless Dragons and move top of Pro12

Leo Cullen’s men took full advantage of Munster’s slip-up to move to the summit.

Jack Conan scored two tries at Rodney Parade.
Jack Conan scored two tries at Rodney Parade.
Image: Ian Cook/INPHO

Newport Gwent Dragons 22

Leinster 54

LEINSTER’S CROP OF hot prospects tore the Newport Gwent Dragons apart to show Joe Schmidt the future is bright for Irish rugby.

Jack Conan and Joey Carbery will have no doubt caught the eye of the Ireland head coach as they enjoyed a pair of stunning performances in this bonus-point 54-22 triumph.

A first-half double from Conan began the rout for Leo Cullen’s men before he turned provider for Jamison Gibson-Park to score a third.

The Dragons put up some resistance when they scored through Adam Hughes, but Richardt Strauss earned the bonus-point moments later.

Leinster continued to heap more misery on the hapless Dragons and added further scores from James Tracy, Hayden Triggs and a late Luke McGrath brace.

The five-point win moves the eastern province ahead of Munster and into pole position in the Guinness Pro12 after Rassie Erasmus’ side suffered a shock defeat to Scarlets at Thomond Park.

Jamison Gibson-Park Source: Simon King/INPHO

Scarlets provide Leinster’s next opposition, on Saturday week at the RDS.

Carbery reminded the Irish management of his explosive ability to set the visitors on their way at Rodney Parade.

The out-half, operating at fullback, used his dazzling footwork to jink through the line and sprint clear, before he switched with Conan, who had an easy run in.

Conan then picked up at the base of a ruck and powered over the line from close range to give Ross Byrne an easy conversion to make it 14-3 after 23 minutes.

He was central again after the break as he burst clear to set-up Gibson-Park for an easy run-in before the hosts hit back through Hughes.

Strauss was on hand to wrap the game and bonus-point up from close range, before Tracy went over for number five.

Rhys Ruddock with Brok Harris Source: Ian Cook/INPHO

Triggs then pounced on a comedy of Dragons errors to score before Matthew Screech scored a late consolation for the Scottish side.

McGrath put the icing on the 54-22 victory with two scores, before Sarel Pretorious scurried over to round off the scoring.

Dragons scorers:

Tries: Hughes, Screech, Pretorious.

Conversions: Jones.

Penalties: Jones.

Leinster scorers:

Tries: Conan [2], Gibson-Park, Strauss, Tracy, Triggs, McGrath [2].

Conversions: Byrne [7].

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NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS: C Meyer (O’Brien 40); A Hughes, T Morgan, J Dixon (Warren 58), P Howard; D Jones, T Knoyle; S Hobbs (T Davies 55), E Dee (R Buckley 73) , B Harris (L Fairbrother 55), N Crosswell, R Landman (Creech 55), O Griffiths, N Cudd (Keddie 68), L Evans (capt).

LEINSTER: J Carbery (Marsh 75); A Byrne, Z Kirchner, N Reid, F McFadden (Daly 65); R Byrne, J Gibson-Park (McGrath 54); P Dooley (Byrne 52), R Strauss (capt) (Tracy 54), M Bent (Ross 54), R Molony, M McCarthy (Triggs 54), R Ruddock, P Timmins (Deegan 5), J Conan,

Referee: Marus Mitrea

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