Jamie Osborne crosses the line. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Osborne and Deegan to the fore in emphatic win for Leinster over Scarlets

Six different try-scorers help eastern province to summit of URC table.

Leinster 54

Scarlets 5


LEINSTER MOVED TO the summit of the URC table for the first time this season with an emphatic bonus-point triumph over Scarlets at the RDS tonight.

Jamie Osborne and Max Deegan helped themselves to a brace of tries each and with four more players dotting down over the course of the proceedings, the eastern province enjoyed a comfortable evening at the office ahead of their meeting with Munster at the Aviva Stadium next weekend.


sam-prendergast-scores-a-try Sam Prendergast touches down. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen reintroduced a further nine Irish internationals to his 23 for this game, having integrated five of the province’s World Cup contingent back into the match day squad for their away victory against Dragons last Sunday.

Garry Ringrose was one who returned tonight and he was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from  Johnny Williams inside the opening 30 seconds of the contest. The Scarlets centre received a yellow card for his part in this incident and after getting back to his feet, Ringrose played a part in Leinster’s breakthrough try in the fourth-minute.

The dynamic number 13 pounced on a loose ball in the middle of the field and at the end of the ensuing attack, Sam Prendergast executed a neat one-two with Jamison Gibson-Park to race over for his first try in professional club rugby. Even though his first bonus strike of the tie was wide of the mark, Prendergast returned to the kicking tee moments later.

With Williams still in the sin-bin, Gibson-Park unleashed an elaborate pass into the grateful arms of Jimmy O’Brien on the left-flank and he proceeded to cross the whitewash in clinical fashion. Prendergast convincingly supplied the extras to this five-pointer and while Scarlets were subsequently restored to their full compliment, Leinster stretched further in front when Deegan touched down for the Blues’ third converted try on 16 minutes – Gibson-Park once again providing the assist.

Scarlets did enjoy a period of sustained possession at the start of the second-quarter, however, and were eventually rewarded when the returning Williams powered over on the right-wing for an unconverted 27th minute score.

jimmy-obrien Jimmy O'Brien. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Dwayne Peel’s visitors took confidence from this try and piled additional pressure on their opponents for the remainder of the opening period. Yet with the likes of Joe McCarthy and Thomas Clarkson producing strong work in defence, Leinster held out to bring a 19-5 cushion into the interval.

Scarlets initially continued to pose an attacking threat on the resumption and it took a tackle into touch by Hugo Keenan to halt Kieran Hardy’s surging run off a scrum. Having prevented a possible try at the opposite end, it was Keenan’s excellent break into the heart of the opposing rearguard that presented Ringrose with a routine finish over the line on the stroke of 50 minutes.

This effort sealed a fourth successive bonus point for Leinster in the URC, but their pursuit of scores was maintained either side of the final-quarter mark. Having seen his fellow Kildare natives Prendergast and O’Brien cross over in the first half, Osborne bagged a try of his own on the hour after he was picked out by replacement half-back Ross Byrne.

With his side now 28 points to the good (33-5), this was the cue for Cullen to hand a senior debut to Fintan Gunne – an U20s Six Nations Grand Slam winner earlier this year – off the bench. The former St Michael’s College scrum-half went on to enjoy a productive cameo as he was involved on a couple of occasions in the lead-up to Jack Boyle’s try on 66 minutes.

Then, from an extended move in the closing moments that originally started as a line-out maul, Gunne delivered a pass that paved the way for Osborne to claim his second try of the game. Ross Byrne’s successful conversion to this score brought him past the 1,000 points mark in a Leinster jersey and there was just enough time left on the clock for Deegan to join Osborne in registering two tries for the rampant hosts.


Leinster scorers:

  • Tries: Jamie Osborne 2, Max Deegan 2, Sam Prendergast, Jimmy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Jack Boyle
  • Conversions – Sam Prendergast [3 from 4], Ross Byrne [4 from 4]


Scarlets scorer:

  • Try – Johnny Williams



LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (Ciaran Frawley ’67), Jamie Osborne, Jimmy O’Brien; Sam Prendergast (Ross Byrne ’51), Jamison Gibson-Park (Fintan Gunne ’61); Andrew Porter (Jack Boyle ’61), Ronan Kelleher (Dan Sheehan ’51), Thomas Clarkson (Tadhg Furlong ’51); Joe McCarthy (Scott Penny ’71), James Ryan (Ross Molony ’61); Max Deegan, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.


SCARLETS: Tom Rogers (Ioan Nicholas ’57); Tomi Lewis, Jonathan Davies, Johnny Williams (Scott Williams ’61), Ryan Conbeer; Charlie Titcombe, Kieran Hardy (Archie Hughes ’65); Steff Thomas (Wyn Jones ’46), Shaun Evans (Ryan Elias ’61), Harri O’Connor (Sam O’Connor ’65); Alex Craig (Morgan Jones ’51), Jac Price; Ben Williams (Iwan Shenton ’57), Teddy Leatherbarrow, Carwyn Tuipulotu.


Ref: Hollie Davidson.

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