Jamie Osborne scored a brilliant first-half try. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Three from Three

Osborne stars as Leinster bag bonus-point win at Gloucester

The province scored seven tries as they powered to another impressive Champions Cup win.

Gloucester 14

Leinster 49

LEINSTER SPENT ALL week talking up the need to silence the Kingsholm crowd and it took the province only 10 minutes to do just that as they powered to a 15th straight win of the season, putting seven tries past Gloucester in this round three Champions Cup clash. 

After the early afternoon rain cleared in Gloucester, two early tries from Jordan Larmour and Michael Ala’alatoa had Leinster on their way to solidifying their place at the top of Pool A, leaving Leo Cullen’s side well placed ahead of next weekend’s Aviva Stadium date with Racing.

Leinster had the bonus point wrapped up before half time, Jamie Osborne and Caelan Doris adding to the early scores from Larmour and Ala’alatoa.

Osborne, making his first Champions Cup start, will be particularly pleased with his work, the 21-year-old causing the hosts problems with his footwork and clever running lines – with Ireland attack coach Mike Catt and defence coach Simon Easterby watching on from the stands, it was a timely performance ahead of Thursday’s Six Nations squad announcement.

Larmour was first over the line for the visitors, strolling through after a well-worked Leinster lineout saw Doris tuck a pass in behind for the in-form winger. Ross Byrne converted and with just four minutes on the clock, Leinster were off the mark.

hugo-keenan-is-tackled-by-george-barton Leinster's Hugo Keenan is tackled by George Barton of Gloucester. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

They continued to build pressure and seep the energy out of near-capacity Kingsholm crowd.

With just over 10 minutes played, Osborne surged up the field and while Gloucester recovered to ground the centre, Seb Atkinson was yellow-carded for offside. Leinster took a quick penalty and Ala’alatoa crossed with ease, with Byrne adding a second conversion.

Following that early Leinster burst Gloucester began to settle into the contest, Cullen’s side failing to score during the 10 minutes Atkinson spent off the field. Carrying hard at a disciplined Leinster defence, the home side threatened a response when Val Rapava Ruskin was held up over the line.

They continued to lift the tempo. Chris Harris thundered into Garry Ringrose before Ollie Thorley did the same to Osborne, who was subsequently swallowed up and pinged. From the resulting lineout referee Pierre Brousset awarded Gloucester a penalty try and yellow-carded Andrew Porter for collapsing the maul.

Leinster responded with their most impressive passage of play of the opening half. Running a beautiful line to meet a sharp Jamison Gibson-Park, Osborne skirted inside and left two defenders on their backside to cap his first Champions Cup start with a try. Byrne added the extras and Leinster went after the bonus point score.

It arrived just before the break, Doris crossing with support from Ryan following a frustrating series of reset scrums. Byrne clipped over the extra two and Leinster took a healthy 28-7 lead into the changing rooms.

caelan-doris-scores-a-try Caelan Doris scores Leinster's bonus-point try. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

They started the second period with the same attacking intent, Ross Byrne heavily involved in the passage of play that led to Hugo Keenan scoring their fifth try six minutes after the restart.

The out-half’s smart inside pass released James Ryan, who found himself with a rare opportunity to test his top speed and bring Leinster into the Gloucester 22. Leinster recycled the ball and spun the ball out to Byrne, who read the situation well to bat the ball out wide to Keenan with one hand, the fullback showing good speed to beat his man on the outside and cross. Byrne nailed his fifth conversion before younger brother Harry was sent on to gain some valuable European experience.

The changes led to a dip in the tempo of Leinster’s play before Gloucester enjoyed their first spell of pressure of the second half.

Just after the hour mark they ran at Leinster in numbers. Billy Twelvetrees ran an arching line and fired a pass inside to Ollie Thorley, who in turn released Jonny May, the winger breaking the Leinster line and running in under the posts, only for the play to be pulled back for a forward pass.

Penalty advantage afforded Gloucester another opportunity. Again, they turned to their power game and for the second time, a Leinster player was sent to the bin for collapsing the maul, this time Doris the guilty party as Brousset awarded Gloucester a second penalty try.

As the game entered the final 10, Leinster struggled to find the cohesion and accuracy that had allowed them to pull clear, but shortly before Doris returned to the action, they put to bed any lingering hopes of a Gloucester comeback, Josh Van der Flier burrowing over after a series of patient charges at the tryline.

There was even time for a seventh – Ronan Kelleher putting the finishing touch to a powerful lineout maul as sections of the Gloucester crowd made their way to the exits.

Leinster head for home with a third Champions Cup bonus win to their name – scoring 148 points along the way – with the province rarely troubled at Kingsholm as they continue to set the pace in Pool A.

Gloucester scorers:

Tries – Penalty (2)

Leinster scorers:

Tries – Larmour, Ala’alatoa, Osborne, Doris, Keenan, Van der Flier, Kelleher

Conversion – R Byrne [5/5], H Byrne [2/2]

GLOUCESTER: George Barton (Billy Twelvetrees, 53); Jonny May, Chris Harris (Tom Seabrook, 67), Seb Atkinson, Ollie Thorley; Santiago Carreras, Ben Meehan (Steve Varney, 58); Val Rapava Ruskin (Harry Elrington, 58), George McGuigan (Seb Blake, 55), Kirill Gotovtsev (Ciaran Knight, 60); Freddie Clarke (Cameron Jordan, 60), Matías Alemanno; Ruan Ackermann, Lewis Ludlow (captain), Ben Morgan (Jack Clement, 60).

Yellow cards: Atkinson 11, Carreras 78

LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour (Michael Milne, 36-37), Garry Ringrose (captain) (Liam Turner, 63), Jamie Osborne, Jimmy O’Brien; Ross Byrne (Harry Byrne, 52), Jamison Gibson-Park (Nick McCarthy, 56); Andrew Porter (Michael Milne, 73), Dan Sheehan (Ronan Kelleher, 52), Michael Ala’alatoa (Cian Healy, 52); Ross Molony (Brian Deeny, 63), James Ryan; Ryan Baird (Jack Conan, 56), Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Yellow cards: Porter 26, Doris 65

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France) 

Attendance: 13,164

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