Champions cruise past Glasgow
November 20, 2011
Fullback Rob Kearney scored one of Leinster's four tries against Glasgow
© Getty Images
Leinster showed glimpses of their ruthless best as they beat Glasgow 38-13 in Dublin.
After drawing with Montpellier in their opening match of the tournament, the reigning champions took control of pool 3 and sent out a warning for the rest of the teams with a bonus-point win.
Leinster had the bonus point in the bag by half time with Rob Kearney and Gordon D'Arcy each touching down and centre Eoin O'Malley grabbing two tries. Fly-half Jonathan Sexton kicked all four conversions and a penalty, in contrast to two penalties from Glasgow's Duncan Weir.
The Irish Province's defence took centre stage in the second half as they withstood Glasgow's renewed efforts, although the visiting team did score a consolation try through Henry Pyrgos. Isaac Boss rounded off the victory for Leinster with a converted try in the final minute of the match.
Man-of-the-match Jamie Heaslip led Leinster's command of the collisions and they continued to be efficient in all facets after the break, weathering an early storm from the Scots. Glasgow gained some consolation with a late try from replacement scrum half Henry Pyrgos, but Isaac Boss had the final say for Leinster in injury-time.
Weir, Glasgow's man-of-the-match in last weekend's win over Bath, banged over a long-range penalty in the third minute to nudge them ahead. But right from the restart, Leinster capitalised on an error from the visitors to put Kearney over in the right corner. Showing great vision, Sexton hung up a cross-field kick for Isa Nacewa and he drew the tackle before feeding Kearney for the score.
The conversion was expertly added from wide out by Sexton, whose half-back partner Eoin Reddan was to the forefront of a bright opening spell. Stuart Hogg rampaged downfield to bring the Warriors into the hosts' 22 but the home defence held firm and Nacewa's kick chase on the right led to Sexton hammering over a penalty, having earlier missed one from the other side.
Glasgow replied through the boot of Weir, who split the posts after Leinster's Devin Toner was sin-binned for pulling down a player at a lineout. However, Leinster were beginning to find their rhythm in attack and they went for the jugular when Sexton took a quick tap. Having been pulled to the left and right, Glasgow were caught out by their posts as Heaslip powered into contact and O'Malley snuck over from the ruck.
Six minutes later, Heaslip broke from a scrum in the Scots' 22 and when play was swept back into midfield, D'Arcy's superb short pass sent O'Malley darting through for his second seven-pointer.
Glasgow's share of possession dwindled as half-time approached and some neat interplay between Sean O'Brien and Nacewa sent D'Arcy over to the right of the posts. Sexton tagged on his fourth successful conversion, giving Glasgow a mountain to climb at 31-6 down. They pressed early in the second half, with Ryan Wilson being brought down just inches short of the try-line.
Al Kellock and Richie Gray were prominent as Sean Lineen's side raised the tempo, with winger Tommy Seymour unfortunate to knock on in plenty of space. Glasgow were the aggressors for much of the closing half hour, Leinster seemingly content to empty their bench and trust their defence.
They were caught out when Troy Nathan thundered straight through a 74th-minute ruck and passed for fellow replacement Pyrgos to touch down, with Weir converting.
But Leinster finished the game on the attack, a half-break from Ian Madigan and Shane Jennings' deft one-handed flick creating the opening for Boss to round off a satisfying Sunday afternoon for the province.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Ireland's Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton