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Evan Treacy/INPHO Leinster's Rob Russell is tackled.
# Report
Academy star bags hat-trick as Leinster continue unbeaten start to URC
Leo Cullen’s men secured a comfortable bonus point triumph against Glasgow Warriors.

Leinster 40

Glasgow Warriors 5

ACADEMY STAR ROB Russell bagged a hat-trick of tries at the RDS as Leinster continued their unbeaten start to the United Rugby Championship with a comfortable bonus point triumph against Glasgow Warriors.

Although their victory wasn’t as emphatic as their 76-14 victory over the Scots in last season’s quarter-final at the same venue, the clinical finishing of the 23-year-old Russell helped Leinster to move eight points clear at the URC summit in the absence of their frontline internationals.

Following a line-out maul with just under eight minutes on the clock, Jamie Osborne released Dave Kearney for a breakthrough try.

Fresh from his match-winning exploits with Ireland against Australia seven days ago, Ross Byrne brilliantly supplied the extras to this score. The hosts subsequently doubled their lead on 11 minutes after TMO AJ Jacobs ruled that Charlie Ngatai had offloaded for Russell to cross the whitewash prior to the New Zealander being forced into touch.

This was Russell’s fourth try of the season and he subsequently added his fifth just past the first-quarter mark – superb build-up play from Luke McGrath putting him through in the right-corner.

While Glasgow enjoyed their fair share of possession as the action progressed, Leinster ultimately held firm to bring a 21-0 advantage into the interval.

The hosts did find themselves under pressure on the resumption, however, as the returning Rónan Kelleher was sent to the sin-bin on 45 minutes. Although Glasgow had a try ruled out in the direct aftermath of his temporary dismissal, winger Sebastian Cancelliere eventually opened their account with a simple five-pointer off an extended attacking move.

Yet Leinster didn’t panic and a powerful 55th-minute finish from Michael Milne (moments after he was introduced as part of a quadruple change by head coach Leo Cullen) ensured they were guaranteed to come away with maximum points from this fixture.

Although the result was already well beyond doubt, Russell claimed his third try of the game in advance of replacement hooker John McKee rounding off a fine evening’s work for the Blues with a converted 78th-minute effort.

Leinster scorers

Tries: Rob Russell 3, Dave Kearney, Michael Milne, John McKee

Conversions: Ross Byrne [4 from 4], Harry Byrne [1 from 2]

Glasgow Warriors scorers

Tries: Sebastian Cancelliere

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Conversions: George Horne [0 from 1]

LEINSTER: Jamie Osborne; Rob Russell, Liam Turner, Charlie Ngatai (Harry Byrne half-time), Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne (Chris Cosgrave ’70), Luke McGrath (Cormac Foley ’60); Ed Byrne (Michael Milne ’50), Rónan Kelleher (John McKee ’67), Thomas Clarkson (Vakh Abdaladze ’50); Ross Molony, Joe McCarthy (Jason Jenkins ’50); Rhys Ruddock (Ryan Baird ’50), Scott Penny, Max Deegan.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Josh McKay; Sebastian Cancelliere, Kyle Steyn, Stafford McDowall, Rufus McLean (Ross Thompson ’56 (Euan Ferrie ’74)); Tom Jordan, George Horne (Jamie Dobie ’67); Oli Kebble (Jamie Bhatti ’56), Fraser Brown (Johnny Matthews ’56), Murphy Walker (Simon Berghan ’56); Sintu Manjezi, Alex Samuel (JP du Preez ’56); Gregor Brown (Lewis Bean ’67), Sione Vailanu, Jack Dempsey.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU).

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