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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020


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Good evening and welcome along to our liveblog from the RDS.

The rain was falling over Ballsbridge only 20 minutes ago, but the sun has now crept out from behind the clouds.

Leo Cullen’s league leaders welcome Edinburgh to Dublin, with the Scots pursuing Champions Cup rugby. Alan Solomons’ men are seventh coming into this tie, but trail sixth-placed Munster by a single point.

Here’s your Leinster team for the evening. No Johnny Sexton, no Jamie Heaslip, no Jack McGrath.


15. Rob Kearney
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Ben Te’o
12. Noel Reid
11. Luke Fitzgerald
10. Ian Madigan
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Richardt Straus
3. Mike Ross
4. Ross Molony
5. Mick Kearney
6. Rhys Ruddock (c)
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jordi Murphy


16. Sean Cronin
17. Peter Dooley
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Devin Toner
20. Dominic Ryan
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Dave Kearney

Munster-bound John Andress is on the Edinburgh bench, as is former Ulster man Michael Allen.


15. Blair Kinghorn
14. Damien Hoyland
13. Chris Dean
12. Phil Burleigh
11. Tom Brown
10. Jason Tovey
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1. Alasdair Dickinson
2. Ross Ford (c)
3. WP Nel
4. Anton Bresler
5. Ben Toolis
6. Jamie Ritchie
7. John Hardie
8. Cornell Du Preez


16. Stuart McInally
17. Rory Sutherland
18. John Andress
19. Alex Toolis
20. Magnus Bradbury
21. Hamish Watson
22. Sean Kennedy
23. Michael Allen

Interesting words from England coach Eddie Jones on Leinster’s Ben Te’o today. The powerful centre is England-qualified and joins Worcester Warriors this summer, meaning he may be in line for a Test call-up.

Here’s Jones on Te’o in an excellent piece by The Daily Telegraph’s Iain Payten:

“At the moment he is not qualified because he is not on contract but if his contract did start earlier there would be a possibility he could come on tour, definitely. Because he is playing well, really well. He is a big guy and he likes to hit.

“If you talk to blokes who know a bit about rugby league, and that Rabbitohs side that won, Ben Te’o was a hugely influential player in that side. His pedigree as a rugby player is enormously high. He doesn’t come with the hype of a Burgess but in terms of his play, he is an enormously quality player.”

There’s Johnny Sexton. Not togged out this evening of course.

Jonathan Sexton at tonight's game Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Leinster just finishing up their warm-up here at a chilly RDS. They head back into the sheds. Stills lots and lots of empty seats, but many people are outside the stands grabbing a last pint before we get underway.

Kick off is at 7.35pm.

Both teams are out at the RDS and we’re ready to go here…


And we’re off!


Penalty to Edinburgh here. Strauss fails to roll away and Tovey will have a shot at goal. Decent Leinster defence before the infringement, but phase after phase on their 22 finally drew the penalty.


Leinster win a penalty now after Rob Kearney hammers into the Edinburgh defence. They kick to the 22 and power up their maul…


Madigan will have a chance to level the game here, Edinburgh fail to roll away. The maul rumbled forward, then Reddan, van der Flier and Madigan all carried to draw Edinburgh into infringing.


Excellent attack from Leinster brings another penalty! Luke Fitzgerald countered up the left, then Ben Te’o boshed into the 22. There was a lovely Madigan offload in amongst the phase play that followed and eventually Edinburgh come in the side of the ruck.


Long period of Edinburgh pressure in the Leinster 22 comes to an end with a Tovey knock-on. Excellent Leinster D there after an initial missed tackle by van der Flier on Brown. Kurt McQuilkin’s men recovered their shape and linespeed impressively.


Jason Tovey breaks through from an intercept of Madigan’s pass and is streaking clear but referee Mitrea calls play back for an Edinburgh knock-on a few phases later. Relief for Leinster fans!


Ben Te’o has steamrolled a few Edinburgh players already tonight. Quite the physical specimen.


Edinburgh don’t look too happy about having to tackle this guy…

Ben Te'o with Phil Burleigh Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO


Leinster use a power play off a lineout 25 metres from Edinburgh’s tryline. They bounce back against the grain off a midfield ruck but then Reid’s pass to Te’o goes to ground! Shame.


Some excellent carries by Te’o, Healy and Molony on the latest Leinster visit to Edinburgh’s 22, but then the Scots jackal over the ball and force a turnover penalty.

The RDS crowd looking for something to cheer about here!


More frustration! Ruddock makes a bust up the left-hand side, but Molony knocks on as the ball comes back infield from the subsequent ruck.

Edinburgh exit poorly, however, and Leinster are back no the attack 15 metres out…


… and another turnover penalty to Edinburgh follows. Lots and lots of Leinster possession and territory, with some lovely build-up play, but they can’t get an end product in the opposition 22.


Super work from Strauss at the breakdown again for Leinster. Wins an excellent turnover penalty near the halfway line. Edinburgh getting very little going in attack so far.

Flag 34Mins

YELLOW CARD! Edinburgh’s Jamie Ritchie sent to the bin for going off his feet at the breakdown.


Agh! Another wasted visit to the 22 from Leinster. Their maul was initially excellent, then they moved into midfield to carry hard. They switched back to the left and Reid’s pass in the direction of Luke Fitzgerald flew into touch! Wasteful.


“Come on Leinster, you’re not in Coppers, would you give it a lash,” shouts a frustrated Leinster fan as Edinburgh again infringe at the breakdown.


Leinster held up over the Edinburgh tryline, and it’s actually going to be a turnover. Mitrea felt a maul had been formed as Leinster attempted to pick and jam, so Edinburgh get the feed.

Leinster should be well clear here really. So wasteful in good positions.


HALF TIME! Leinster 6-3 Edinburgh

Fittingly, the half ends with a Leinster error in the 22, Madigan passing the ball into touch.

Such a frustrating half for Leinster. All the possession, all the territory but relatively little return on the scoreboard. Poor handling and rucking in the Edinburgh 22 has cost them scoring chances so far.


Team are back out and we’re ready for the second half. Madigan gets it underway.


Brilliant from Leinster. A big Mick Kearney carry took them into the Edinburgh half and then 40 metres out Madigan released Fitzgerald for a brilliant break with a lovely inside pass.

Fitzgerald looked like he might race in to score, but with Edinburgh tracking back he opted to loft a clever pass back inside to the supporting Luke McGrath, who got his reward for following up. Superb.


Tovey’s conversion drops just short.

The try came from a lovely pass by the Edinburgh out-half, who floated the ball over Fergus McFadden’s head to Brown. McFadden was completely lost there, in no man’s land, and Brown sprinted into the left corner to finish.

Flag 51Mins

TRY! Leinster 18-8 Edinburgh (van der Flier ’51)

It’s all happening now!


Van der Flier benefits this time as Noel Reid intercepts a loopy Edinburgh pass near halfway and bursts forward. The inside centre is dragged down from behind, but offloads to van der Flier, who shows great pace to finish, dragging two tacklers over the line with him.


Just onto the pitch, Peter Dooley helps Leinster to a turnover penalty! Leo Cullen has replaced his entire front row, while Dominic Ryan is on for captain Rhys Ruddock too.

They kick up to the Edinburgh 22…


Madigan wide with a difficult conversion attempt.


The forwards do the hard work with the maul and pick and jams, before Madigan, Reid and Fitzgerald shift it wide right for McFadden to run it in in the corner. Lovely score.


Leinster look to play out of their 22 with an inside pass from Madigan to Fitzgerald, as for the Luke McGrath try, but former Ulster man Michael Allen picks off the pass and streaks away under the posts. Game still on.


Kearney sends the right wing over in the right corner this time. Some impressive build-up play featured a nice Jordi Murphy offload, then the backs used a lovely screen play to give Kearney time to hit McFadden. Boshed over for the finish!


Madigan’s conversion effort slips wide again.


No conversion, but Edinburgh won’t go away here. Leinster fall asleep and get punished as replacement Sean Kennedy barrels over from close range.


Huge, huge collision and McFadden looks in trouble. Looked like a no-arms tackle and it was certainly high, but he’s come off much the worse.


Josh van der Flier is named man of the match as Leinster defend…

That’s all we have time for from the RDS. A bonus-point win for Leo Cullen’s Leinster strengthens their position at the top of the Pro12.

We’ll have reaction from Leinster coach soon. Cheers for joining us.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella