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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 7 March 2021

Ross Byrne stars as Leinster romp to victory at Rodney Parade

Leo Cullen’s second-string side scored nine tries away to Dragons on Saturday evening.

Leinster celebrate after another clinical PRO14 performance.
Leinster celebrate after another clinical PRO14 performance.
Image: Alex Davidson/INPHO


James Candy reports from Rodney Parade

LEINSTER LEFT THEIR stars at home but blunted the Dragons’ bite to rack up nine tries in yet another rout at Rodney Parade.

Johnny Sexton and CO were not needed for the trip to South Wales as Leo Cullen’s second-string stood up and showed their ruthless streak in a bonus-point 59-10 triumph.

Ross Byrne orchestrated the victory to stake his claim for a place in the starting XV for the Champions Cup clash with Bath with a near faultless performance as he set up two scores for Dave Kearney and one for full-back Hugo Keenan.

Scott Penny and Scott Fardy made sure Leinster went in at half-time with a comfortable 16-point advantage before Kearney wrapped up the bonus-point three minutes into the second-half.

Caelen Doris, Hugo Keenan, Bryan Byrne and Jimmy O’Brien completed the win with a late double to make it six wins in-a-row against the Welsh region.

Ross Byrne Ross Byrne was instrumental in today's victory in South Wales. Source: Alex Davidson/INPHO

Leinster made sure it would be a night of pain for their hosts as they got off to a flying start.

Jason Tovey’s misplaced pass gifted Leinster possession, and they punished their hosts less than a minute later when Ross Byrne floated a perfectly weighted cross-kick into the hands of Dave Kearney for a simple run in at the corner.

The Dragons outside-half was at fault again for Leinster’s second of the evening after he was swept aside by a powerful Conor O’Brien hand-off.

Penny had a try ruled out for a knock-on but play was brought back and Lewis Evans was sin-binned for a cynical offence to allow the back-rower to get on the scoresheet moments later.

Jamison Gibson-Park then engineered a third when he lifted a sumptuous pass over Rynard Landman’s head and into the hands of Fardy, who waltzed over.

Caelen Doris had a try ruled out, but Leinster headed in at half-time with a commanding 19-3 lead.

The second-half began exactly how the first started as Byrne used his boot to pick out Kearney for his second and the crucial bonus-point score.

Dave Kearney scores a try Dave Kearney secured the bonus point for Leinster this evening at Rodney Parade. Source: Alex Davidson/INPHO

Byrne added the extras before the Dragons finally bared the teeth in attack. Harri Keddie picked up the ball and rust through at a ruck, before he linked up with Ryan Bevington.

The supporting prop then found Williams inside him, who saw off the attentions of three defenders to sprint over from 30 metres out.

Tovey’s conversion cut the gap to 26-10, but normal service was resumed when Doris crashed over from close range for an easy seven point score.

Byrne’s brilliance came to the fore again when he dabbed a perfectly weighted grubber through for Hugo Keenan to score Leinster’s sixth.

It wasn’t long until replacement hooker Bryan Byrne got in on the act to crash over from close range, before Paddy Patterson marked his senior debut with a cut-out pass over the top of the defence to give O’Brien an easy try at the corner.

There was still time for the outside centre to complete a late brace as he finished well at the corner to compete the 59-10 triumph.

Dragons Scorers:Try: R Williams

Conversion: Tovey

Penalty: Tovey

Leinster Scorers:

Tries: D Kearney (2), Penny, Fardy, Doris, Keenan, B Byrne, J O’Brien (2) 

Conversions: R Byrne (5), Frawley (2)

Penalties: -


DRAGONS: J Williams, J Rosser (A Warren 56), T Morgan, J Sage, H Amos, J Tovey (A Robson 66), R Williams (T Knoyle 61), R Bevington (A Jarvis 72), R Hibbard (E Dee 47), L Fairbrother (L Brown 40), R Landman, L Evans (C Hill, 40), H Keddie (R Moriarty 47), A Wainwright, O Griffiths.

LEINSTER: H Keenan, A Byrne, J O’Brien, C O’Brien, D Kearney (T Daly 64), R Byrne (C Frawley 70), J Gibson-Park (P Patterson 66), E Byrne (P Dooley 52), J Tracy (B Bryne 52), M Bent (A Porter 48), R Molony, S Fardy (captain), J Murphy (M Deegan 52), S Penny (M Kearney 62), C Doris.

Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

About the author:

James Candy

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