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SAINTS 7 LEINSTER 40 As it happened

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

A minute's applause precedes this evening's game as a tribute to Nelson Mandela, the former South African president so synonymous with rugby after the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Respect shown for a man that has inspired so many.

KO

Madigan gets a huge Heineken Cup tie underway at the Gardens…

SAINTS 0 LEIN 0


2mins

Pisi more than solid under a Leinster high ball but after calling for the mark, he knocks on looking to go quickly. First scrum of the evening is a stalemate but the visitors spin it wide and Fitzgerald gets on the end of an awkward bouncing kick to ground. Madigan converts from wide, too. Not the start Saints would have wanted.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 7


5mins

Another Saints knock on, this time North and while the scrum goes against the head, Saints can’t control the ball. O’Driscoll grubbers through again and Elliott has to scamper back to beat Fitzgerald to the ball. Leinster play from the lineout and after whipping it right, it quickly comes back left for Fitzgerald’s second of the evening.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


9mins

Saints yet to even see the ball in this game. They need to string a few phases together and finds some points from somewhere to settle.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


12mins

Another huge shunt from the Saints at the scrum and Dickson steals the ball from Heaslip’s grasp. The scrum-half is then forced to hold on though and Leinster put the penalty onto the Saints’ 22. Then gets a bit too complex in midfield, however, and there's a knock on.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


14mins

Another big scrum but the Saints don’t keep control of the ball and Leinster scoop up to attack. Finally a chance to clear though as a Leinster man goes off his feet for a penalty. Crowd responds urging their team to do the same.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


16mins

And respond they do. Waller gallops through a gap and though there’s a loss of possession as he looks to offload, Saints have made their first promising attack of the evening. Hopefully plenty more to come…

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


19mins

Saints are picking up their game here. Wood steals a lineout and with North haring after Dickson’s box kick a pair of penalties come in quick succession as the ball is turned over. Dickson injects some pace with a quick tap and they now have an attacking platform in Leinster territory.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


20mins

So frustrating though as possession is turned over and Kearney hooks clear. Lineout forced back to the 10m line but a maul rolls forwards and the ball is still theirs. Burrell follows Dickinson in making a big, dirt carry but when it comes wide again the ball is lost as it squirms from Pisi’s grasp in contact.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


24mins

Saints simply cannot afford to keep making these mistakes. The lineout goes to hand but a loose pass in midfield is snaffled by Madigan and the visitors are right back on the front foot. Saints think they’re turning the ball over but according to referee Owens it was still in the ruck. Fortunately, Madigan wildly hooks the resulting penalty.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 12


27mins

They’re in again. O’Brien’s rampage is briefly stopped by Elliott but Leinster recycle and, aided by some clever running lines and a possible obstruction, Heaslip canters over on the right and even has the time to make a dash for the posts. Madigan maximise the score.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 19


30mins

More bullish carrying from Burrell as the Saints look to get themselves back into it by any means but another turnover of possession isn’t going to do their cause any good.They get another chance to go and with Manoa and Wood punching holes a penalty comes in just inside halfway. Myler goes to touch.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 19


33mins

No one wants to be reminded of the 2011 Heineken Cup final, but it’s going to take a comeback of those proportions if the Saints are to get anything out of this. O’Brien has left the field with what looks like a nose injury, replaced by Jennings.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 19


34mins

Saints making headway but Burrell is well fielded by two defenders in blue and forced into touch. Reddan makes a solid clearance from the lineout too and when Saints throw in, their maul is held up for a Leinster scrum. A free kick goes airborne from Madigan’s right boot and when Kearney recollects, Reddan scampers through a gap and adds a bonus fourth. It’s all going wrong at the Gardens.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


HT

Time is up on the clock but the Saints play on looking for something, anything, before the break. The Leinster defence is up so quickly though and suffocating the hosts. Dickson box kicks hopefully and Kearney takes it in to touch to end a nightmare first half - unless you’re from Dublin…

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


40mins

Myler restarts the second half - Saints looking to at least finish this game on a positive note…

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


45mins

Saints playing plenty of rugby but unfortunately all in their own half. When they clear, Cronin goes steaming through a gap and feeds Fitzgerald for a would-be hat-trick. After his fine break though the pass is a mail forward and the TMO chalks the score off.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


48mins

Pisi gets after his own high ball well and having brought Kearney down, Saints have a penalty. Myler goes to the corner with pinpoint precision as the cheers echo around the Gardens. Just as it looks like something is coming though Saints knock on and the noise turns to groans of frustration.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


53mins

Saints putting some pace on the ball and an attack from deep races into Leinster’s 22 through the hands of North and Elliott. The recurring theme of the evening though has been Leinster’s ability to create havoc at the breakdown and they poach the ball again, their clearance compounded by a high tackle from Manoa and a penalty.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


55mins

A first real chance of the half to attack for the visitors and with O’Dricoll scything through and the offloads flowing, Reddan is left with his head in his hands as he juggles and then spills the final pass.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


57mins

Leinster changes - Dundon and Moore replace the impressive Cronin and fellow front row Ross. Saints scrum 10m from their own line results in a penalty and Clark, Haywood and Ethan are now on for the hosts. Dowson, Hartley and Alex depart.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


64mins

There’s the nail in the coffin. Saints still looking to play from deep but with little support on a half break, Burrell’s charge goes unrewarded and O’Driscoll then picks off a pass to saunter beside the posts.

SAINTS 0 LEIN 33


66mins

Myler and Dickson get the Saints moving forwards with a good little link up and Manoa then puts O’Driscoll on his backside with a HUGE carry. Penalty advantage coming and having put it into the corner Saints drive closer still to the line. There’s a yellow card for another Leinster offence and Dickson burrows over beneath the posts.

SAINTS 7 LEIN 33


69mins

Dickson’s last contribution as he and Myler are replaced by Glynn and Dickson (Glenn).  If the Saints thought that was going to give them impetous for a positive finish, 14-man Leinster aren’t convinced and though Kirchner stumbles after D’Arcy’s spritely break, he gets the ball away off the floor and Fitzgerald does complete his hat-trick.

SAINTS 7 LEIN 40


77mins

Saints stubbornly looking for one last score but after half breaks from Pisi and North possession is coughed up and Gopperth spirals one all the way downfield and into the Saints’ 22. No joy whatsoever for the hosts this evening and it will be a long way back from here in the Heineken Cup’s ‘Pool of death’.

SAINTS 7 LEIN 40


FT

Game over, though in truth it had been long before the final whistle. The Saints have been dealt the toughest of lessons at the Gardens this evening.

SAINTS 7 LEIN 40


TIMELINE


7mins LEIN Try Fitzgerald 0-12

25mins LEIN Miss pen Madigan

27mins LEIN Try Heaslip Con Madigan 0-19

37mins LEIN Try Reddan Con Madigan 0-26

HALF-TIME SAINTS 0 LEIN 26


67mins LEIN Yellow Moore

68mins SAINTS Try Dickson Con Myler 7-33

70mins LEIN Try Fitzgerald Con Madigan 7-40

FULL-TIME SAINTS 7 LEIN 40


SAINTS

Wilson; K Pisi, Waldouck, Burrell, North; Myler, L Dickson; A Waller, Hartley (capt), Mercey, Manoa, Lawes, Dowson, Wood, Dickinson


Reps - Haywood, E Waller, Denman, Day, Clark, Glynn, G Dickson, Elliott


LEINSTER

R Kearney; D Kearney, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; Madigan, Reddan; McGrath, Cronin, Ross, Toner, McCarthy, Ruddock, O’Brien, Heaslip (capt)


Reps - Dundon, Bent, Moore, Cullen, Jennings, Cooney, Gopperth, Kirchner


Att: 13,475


Heineken Man of the Match: Brian O’Driscoll


Referee: Nigel Owens