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Leinster weather early Ospreys storm to maintain perfect record

The champions were 26-7 winners this afternoon.

Jimmy O'Brien is tackled.
Jimmy O'Brien is tackled.
Image: Robbie Stephenson/INPHO

Ospreys 7 

Leinster 26

LEINSTER RODE AN early storm at the Liberty Stadium before maintaining their perfect record this season with a fifth successive bonus-point win. 

The champions notched their 24th straight win in the tournament as they moved seven points clear of Ulster at the top of Conference A ahead of the northerners home clash with Glasgow Warriors at the Kingspan tonight. 

Ross Moloney led out the side as he reached a century of appearances for Leinster and he and his team mates got a red-hot reception from the pumped up home side. It took them 10 minutes to break out of their half, in which time the Ospreys picked up a penalty try after Scottish referee Sam Grove-White deemed Leinster had collapsed a driving line-out that was destined for the try line. 

Back-to-back penalties eventually allowed the excellent Harry Byrne to kick his side deep into the home 22 and after the driving line out had broken the back of the defence, James Tracy burrowed over for the try. 

Byrne used the upright to convert and 10 minutes later did the same after a stolen line-out near their 22 was converted into a corner try for Dave Kearney. Now it was Leinster who were dictating terms and a Rhys Ruddock charge set up a penalty shot for Byrne, which he surprisingly missed. 

The outside half made amends a few minutes later when his long pass set flanker Scott Penny free wide on the right and he carried the diminutive Mat Protheroe over the line with him. Having turned things around in the second half of the first 40 minutes all that was needed after the break was the bonus-point try to complete another successful away day trip. 

Ospreys had the first shot at moving the scoreboard, but Cai Evans was wide and short with a penalty shot from near half-way. The Leinster pack then took centre stage once more as they drove a line-out to within a metre of the line and then maintained the pressure across the field. 

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rhys-ruddock-is-tackled-by-adam-beard Rhys Ruddock is tackled by Adam Beard. Source: Robbie Stephenson/INPHO

From a quickly taken penalty, replacement prop Peter Dooley had the honour of notching the bonus-point try that Byrne converted. To their credit, the Ospreys threw the kitchen sink at Leinster in the closing quarter, but found there was no way through the turquoise brick wall. 

As a precursor to Friday night’s opening game in the Nations Cup between Ireland and Wales it was an indication of what the team in red can expect to come up against at the Aviva Stadium. 

Scorers: Ospreys: Try: Pen Try (8); Leinster: Tries: J Tracy (17), D Kearney (26), S Penny (33), P Dooley (57); Cons: H Byrne (27, 58) 

Ospreys: C Evans; M Protheroe, S Williams, J Hawkins (C Carson 65), L Morgan; J Thomas (H Dorksen 65), R Morgan-Williams (S Venter 50); R Jones (G Thomas 41), D Lake (I Phillips 41), M Fia (T Botha 50), A Beard (R Davies 62), B Davies, W Griffiths (O Cracknell 62), D Lydiate (captain), G Evans

Leinster: J O’Brien; C Kelleher, R O’Loughlin (L Turner 61), T O’Brien (H O’Sullivan 66), D Kearney; H Byrne (D Hawkshaw 61), L McGrath; M Milne (P Dooley 51), J Tracy (D Sheehan 51), M Bent (C Parker 51), R Molony, S Fardy (D Toner 73), J Murphy, S Penny, R Ruddock (captain)
Rep Unused: D Leavy 

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU) 

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