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Late Gopperth penalty sees Leinster draw comfort against Ospreys

Matt O’Connor’s men needed the out-half’s 78th-minute kick to level things up.

Jimmy Gopperth was on target with all three of his penalties.
Jimmy Gopperth was on target with all three of his penalties.
Image: Craig Thomas/INPHO

Ospreys 9

Leinster 9

LEINSTER HAVE CLIMBED to third in the Guinness Pro12 after a late Jimmy Gopperth penalty silenced the home crowd in their clash with Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

The Blues travelled to the Liberty Stadium without a host of their internationals but were still able to name a strong side and their strength in depth showed in the opening 40.

Try-scoring chances were at a premium again and it was the boot of Jimmy Gopperth that put the visitors three points up at the break, 6-3.

His first penalty came after 14 minutes and he doubled his side’s lead eight minutes later after Dan Baker was penalised for coming in from the side.

The home team did make inroads into the Leinster 22 midway through the half but hooker Richardt Strauss forced a turnover penalty to preserve his side’s lead.

One other burst by Hanno Dirksen was stopped abruptly by a big hit from Ireland international wing Dave Kearney but Sam Davies reduced the gap to three points with the penalty shortly after.

Two minutes after the break, the home side were level, this time Davies firing over a drop goal and the talented 21-year-old then put his side into the lead for the first time approaching the final quarter.

Gopperth, however, would have the last say with his late penalty to make it nine points apiece. Matt O’Connor’s side move up to third overnight, although victory for Anthony Foley’s Munster against Glasgow Warriors tomorrow evening would see Leinster drop back to fourth.

Ospreys scorers:

Penalties: Sam Davies [2 from 2]

Drop goal: Sam Davies

Leinster scorer:

Penalties: Jimmy Gopperth [3 from 3]

LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te’o, Gordon D’Arcy, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss (capt); Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Tom Denton, Kane Douglas; Dominic Ryan, Josh Van Der Flier, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Peter Dooley, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Marshall, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Noel Reid, Darragh Fanning.

OSPREYS: Dan Evans; Tom Grabham, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Hanno Dirksen; Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Ryan Bevington, Scott Otten, Dmitri Arhip, Tevita Cavubati, Tyler Ardron (Capt), Joe Bearman, James King, Dan Baker.

Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Marc Thomas, Daniel Suter, Rhodri Hughes, Olly Cracknell, Morgan Allen, Tom Habberfield, Richard Fussell.

Referee: John Lacey.

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