Advertisement

Leinster's march continues as Cullen's men move to Pro12 summit with Ospreys win

It was the province’s first victory at the Liberty Stadium since a Heineken Cup win in 2013.

Kearney goes over to score his first try.
Kearney goes over to score his first try.
Image: Simon King/INPHO

Ospreys 9
Leinster 22

DAVE KEARNEY SCORED a try in either half as Leinster’s impressive recent form continued with an assertive victory over Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium this evening.

Leo Cullen’s side have now won seven league games on the bounce and have moved to the top of the Guinness Pro12 table with their latest triumph.

The visitors started purposefully and set the tone for a game they managed to have a stranglehold of from start to finish.

Although Dan Biggar opened the scoring for Ospreys, Leinster’s fast start was soon rewarded as Jonathan Sexton picked out Kearney with a precise cross-field kick to get Leinster on the board.

Ospreys enjoyed more possession but they rarely threatened and the visitors scored at crucial junctures to continue their recent revival following disappointment in Europe.

Cullen named a strong team for the visit to Wales but Jamie Heaslip was forced off early in the contest after suffering a nasty cut to his lip.

He left the field bloodied and bruised but his side were undeterred and hit the front through Kearney’s brilliantly executed try after 18 minutes.

Biggar reduced the deficit but missed twice from the tee either side of the break as Leinster kept their noses in-front in difficult conditions.

Sean O'Brien is tackled by Sam Underhill Sean O'Brien in action. Source: Simon King/INPHO

With many of their big guns on the bench, and an eye on next week’s European action, it was another disappointing evening for Ospreys as Leinster won at the Liberty for the first time since September 2009.

Noel Reid’s try shortly after the hour mark extended the province’s lead and Kearney crossed in the closing stages to seal another impressive victory.

Attention turns to Champions Cup business now for Leinster and Cullen will be hoping the final two fixtures of their disappointing Pool campaign doesn’t suck the momentum out of their Pro12 challenge.

Ospreys scorers:

Penalties: Dan Biggar (2)
Drop-goals: Biggar

Leinster scorers:

Tries: Dave Kearney (2), Noel Reid
Penalties: Johnny Sexton
Conversions: Sexton

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Jeff Hassler, Jonathan Spratt, Owen Watkin, Hanno Dirksen; Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard; Paul James (capt), Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Ashley, Rory Thornton, James King, Sam Underhill, Dan Baker.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Isa Nacewa (capt), Ben Te’o, Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney; Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU).

- This article was updated at 1.04am on 9 January to correct the final score and the excerpt.

Irish rugby mourns death of Grand Slam hero

Connacht keep changes to a minimum as they take aim at Pro12 leaders Scarlets

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:

COMMENTS (58)