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LEINSTER 60 SAINTS 13 Dublin despair for Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Early promise from the Saints came to nothing as they were brutally overwhelmed by Leinster at the Aviva Stadium.

Ken Pisi’s interception handed them a battling lead with just a quarter played, but the score only served to spark their hosts into life, Leinster racking up nine tries and comprehensively compiling back-to-back Champions Cup wins

The writing looked to be on the wall after just four minutes when Adam Byrne crashed over the top of Tom Collins to open the scoring, Devin Toner charging down a box kick to put Saints under the cosh immediately.

If they weren’t already, Saints points were now imperative and after a pair of opportunities, Stephen Myler settled his side with three points from the tee.

The men in white were showing a renewed defensive intensity and though one turnover came to nothing, the next allowed Myler a longer pot at goal, one he duly took from the best part of 40 metres out.

The lead might well have been short lived, Saints soon defending under their own posts, but Luke McGrath’s pass was read like a book by Ken Pisi, who timed his ambush to perfection and won the race upfield.

The score was eventually confirmed by the TMO, but Leinster were far from rocked and would instead go on to recapture the lead in a matter of minutes.

Back inside the visitors’ 22, his time they kept it tight and Luke McGrath sneaked through a gap that only materialised when his hesitance to get the ball away saw defenders over-rush.

Nacewa - who had earlier clipped over a penalty - took his team to the front with the extras and was soon back at the tee when Byrne scooped up a Saints knock on for his second of the evening.

The men in blue had turned up the heat, evidenced by their decision to go to the corner on the stroke of half-time rather than take the simple three on offer. Their confidence was rewarded when Sean O’Brien crawled over from a splintered maul, a third try in 12 minutes bringing up the try bonus and leaving Saints with a mountain to climb.

It soon became four in 15, too, the half-time break doing little to stem the Dubliners' flow when Tadhg Furlong bullied his way over, the prop followed across minutes later by front row buddy Sean Cronin.

Jamie Gibson’s yellow card further increased the defensive workload and Nacewa evaded tacklers on the left to bag his side’s seventh, the skipper doubling up to sandwich a try for Rory O'Loughlin on the opposite flank.

Saints would round off the game on the attack, but Tom Kessell was denied a close range score by the TMO and a knock on meant that their efforts for a little consolation would also go begging.

TIMELINE
4mins LEIN Try A Byrne 5-0
9mins SAINTS Miss pen Myler
12mins SAINTS Pen Myler 5-3
15mins SAINTS Pen Myler 5-6
21mins SAINTS Try K Pisi Con Myler 5-13
24mins LEIN Pen Nacewa 8-13
28mins LEIN Try L McGrath Con Nacewa 15-13
31mins LEIN Try A Byrne Con Nacewa 21-13
40mins LEIN Try O’Brien Con Nacewa 29-13
HALF-TIME LEIN 29-13 SAINTS
42mins LEIN Try Furlong Con Nacewa 36-13
44mins LEIN Try Cronin Con R Byrne 43-13
54mins LEIN Try Nacewa 48-13
60mins LEIN Try O’Loughlin Con A Byrne 55-13
70mins LEIN Try Nacewa 60-13
FULL-TIME LEIN 60-13 SAINTS

LEINSTER
Kirchner; A Byrne, Ringrose, Henshaw, Nacewa (capt); R Byrne, L McGrath; J McGrath, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, Triggs, O’Brien, van der Flier, Heaslip

Tracy, Healy, Bent, Ruddock, Conan, Gibson-Park, Reid, O’Loughlin

SAINTS
Tuala; K Pisi, G Pisi (capt), Hanrahan, Collins; Myler, Groom; E Waller, Clare, Brookes, Ratuniyarawa, Craig, Gibson, Clark, Harrison

Fish, A Waller, Hill, Paterson, Nutley, Kessell, Hutchinson, Wilson

REFEREE
Romain Poite (FFR)

 

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