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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 22 October 2020
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BIRRRRRR! We’re in the RDS this evening for a Champions Cup clash that is meaningless in terms of Leinster’s season, but very much an important moment for the province’s young players – not to mention the opposition.

There’s just under an hour until kick-off, so go, do what you gotta do, get to a TV or stay here and tell us how you think the game will go.

Comment below, tweet us @Rugby_ie or head on over to our Facebook page. 

The team-sheets are in here in the freshly-wired-up-for-heat Leinster press room and there are no changes. Still that fresh-face Leinster pack we were introduced to yesterday, including no fewer than six full European debuts in the XV.

For a special bonus prize 42 green thumbs, can you name the six off the top of your head?

Leinster

15. Zane Kirchner
14. Isa Nacewa (Capt)
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Ben Te’o
11. Dave Kearney
10. Ian Madigan
9. Luke McGrath

1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracey
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Ross Molony
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jordi Murphy

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. Marty Moore
19. Tom Denton
20. Sean O’Brien
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Noel Reid

Bath

15 Anthony Watson
14 Semesa Rokoduguni
13 Jonathan Joseph
12 Kyle Eastmond
11 Matt Banahan
10 George Ford
9 Chris Cook

1 Max Lahiff
2 Rob Webber
3 David Wilson
4 Stuart Hooper (Capt.)
5 Dominic Day
6 Matt Garvey
7 Francois Louw
8 Leroy Houston

Replacements:

16 Ross Batty
17 Nick Auterac
18 Henry Thomas
19 Charlie Ewels
20 David Denton
21 Jonathan Evans
22 Rhys Priestland
23 Tom Homer

Here we go.

George Ford kicks off. Leinster take it comfortably and Madigan clears.

1Mins

A brief skipped beat from Leinster hearts as Kirchner slips chasing a grubber in behind, but he scrambles up and allows Dave Kearney to clear the lines.

3Mins

Great start for Peter Dooley as the prop makes a solid carry and draws a penalty in his own half. Madigan pings the pen across halfway. Leinster look to maul, but they give an offside penalty right back.

Frustrating.

5Mins

Oooh. Big hit from Tadhg Furlong, but Leinster off their feet for the ruck and Bath can drill right back to the 10 metre line.

8Mins

Lovely hands from Kyle Eastmond to create a half break for Bath, the runner on his shoulder burst through on a fine angle, but was soon wrapped up and turned over.

Off the restart, Leinster embark on an exciting attack despite a low pass from McGrath to Madigan. And McGrath continued the run left to pop up on Te’o's shoulder to move Leinster 40 metres downfield.

Penalty won within 30 metres…

8Mins

Meat and drink for Ian Madigan from that range and angle.

PENALTY! Leinster 3 Bath 0 (Madigan ’9)

13Mins

Good hustle from Joseph at the ruck trying to spark something from Bath. They’ve been poor so far. Ian Madigan over cooked the kick to touch that followed, but Leinster look by far the more organised side out there.

16Mins

Chance out wide for Leinster. It’s three on three but Madigan’s pass is absolutely fizzed at Ringrose and his focus is on controlling rather than attacking.

They rumble right, Madigan attempts to sneak in and they rumble back left only for the out-half to fire a pass to Anthony Watson.

Fortunately, the fullback has to check his stride rather than return it to the house.

18Mins

A little bit of magic from Isa Nacewa really brings the RDS to life. Even after two years out of the game the balance the man has while running is something extraordinary.

21Mins

And more from Nacewa as he bursts down the right wing, but the magic touch this time was from hooker James Tracy, helping on Mike McCarthy’s pass with a deft touch.

23Mins

Leinster looked, to me, like they had gotten to the line with that set of phases, but the ref immediately signaled for a scrum rather than a TMO. After Cook raced offside after a brilliant defensive scrum from his pack, Madigan missed the penalty.

30Mins

PENALTY! Leinster 3 Bath 3 (Ford ’30)

33Mins

We thought getting on the scoreboard might steady Bath, but they continue to give away needless penalties. The latest off a fine Tracy line-out. Madigan will shoot from the 10 metre line with an angle making it about a 45 metre kick…

34Mins

PENALTY! Leinster 6 Bath 3 (Madigan ’34)

35Mins

Madigan finding a groove again as Leinster play against 14 with a Bath player down injured. He spins through contact nicely and gets an offload to Tracy. Another solid carry from the hooker but Leinster will take the penalty for Bath going off their feet.

36Mins

PENALTY! Leinster 9 Bath 3 (Madigan ’36)

SIN-BIN: Dominic Day gets a yellow card. Must confess I didn’t see what his infringement was, but we won’t see him until five minutes after half-time.

37Mins

This game really isn’t going according to plan for Bath. They’ve even had a try chalked off by the TMO after a brilliant recovery play from Kearney denied Leroy Houston touching down.

Joseph’s kick had opened up the Leinster D just a minute after Bath had been reduced to 14 men.

40Mins

The RDS is finding its voice for the first time in Europe this season, Dooley stealing an overthrown Bath line-out and setting Leinster up for a rumble across field where they pick up another penalty.

Madigan can close out the half here.

41Mins

Bath have made a few changes for the second half. Dave Denton replaces Francois Louw in the big change, while Batty replaces Webber at hooker…. hold that thought.

41Mins

Sorry to interrupt your sub news there, but Garry Ringrose is pulling strings beautifully in midfield, drawing a tackler in before unleashing Nacewa on a 30 metre run down the right wing.

42Mins

The old Kiwi gets caught unfortunately and Bath spoil any chance of quick ball. Chance for  Leinster off the line-out:

46Mins

Bath’s defence forces Leinster carriers back, but still can’t do so legally. Madigan has an easy shot here to extend the lead from the middle of the 22.

46Mins

Henry Thomas replacing Wilson was the third replacement if you’re in to that sort of thing.

PENALTY! Leinster 15 Bath 3 (Madigan ’46)

47Mins

Leinster’s turn to send in the fresh legs. We’ve got a whole new front row of McGrath, Cronin and Moore while Mike McCarthy has also been replaced by Tom Denton.

54Mins

Right, now that both teams have emptied the forwards off their bench maybe we can get this game going again.

56Mins

Nice chase down from Kearney puts Ford under pressure. Rokoduguni races to the 22 and gets the ball when it comes back to his wing a few phases later, but he puts it on the deck.

That kind of fundamental error has just sucked the life out of Bath all night. They are very disappointing for a side who looked to have a chance of making the knockouts.

58Mins

Scrum victory on halfway! Maybe that will wake Bath up. Because at the minute they’re sleepwalking out of the tournament.

59Mins

Oof. Unfortunate call there as Leisnter are called for an offside after Madigan picks a ball up from a backpeddling phase. Line-out from 5m for the visitors

Flag 61Mins

TRY! Leinster 15 Bath 8 (Houston ’61)

Off that line-out, Bath go through a couple of messy phases before powering over through the number eight.

62Mins

George Ford skims the penalty just left of the uprights though and the lead is still seven for the hosts.

Flag 64Mins

TRY! Leinster 22 Bath 8 (Cronin ’63)

Excellent response from Leinster. With a penalty advantage Kearney made a half break with a hard line off a reverse pass. The big hitters punched the holes, Sean O’Brien and then Cronin wriggled free enough to dive for the line.

66Mins

There’s a light film of rain coating proceedings at the RDS now, all the more difficult for Bath to mount a late comeback. Leinster’s young stars have been terrific, but the visitors allowed them settle and now the home side have their big guns on the field (in fact, they even have the luxury of keeping on such big gun off the field as Jonathan Sexton is one of the unused replacements with 14 minutes remaining).

66Mins

PENALTY! Leinster 22 Bath 11 (R Priestland ’66)

69Mins

Oh, the crowd are loving this now. Leinster are just hounding after each and every sorry Bath error and compounding their misery. A chase and choke tackle will set Leinster up for a scrum in the middle of the Bath 22.

72Mins

The introduction of Reid has meant a reshuffle in the backline. Ringrose is now on the wing with Nacewa at fullback. Perhaps that disruption didn’t help the latest attack. A big hit on Te’o ground it to a halt.

77Mins

PENALTY! Leinster 25 Bath 11 (Madigan ‘ 77)

78Mins

The final nail for Bath. Leinster will see out the final minutes of this game..;

Oh, wait. Wishful thinking. Sexton attempted to pass from deep, but his pass was dropped by Madigan and Bath almost stole onto it to move clear.

The visitors turn it over though and Leinster can roar clear in fractured play this time.  Sexton makes it as far as the Bath 10 before he is shunted out.

78Mins

Madigan took a heavy knock while dropping that ball, but he’s up and about after treatment now.

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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