Leinster 55-19 Glasgow Warriors

Glasgow Warriors suffered a first defeat in 2020 this evening, as Leinster continued their own unbeaten record in the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14.

The Conference A-topping Irishmen proved too strong in front of their home supporters, running in nine tries to claim a 55-19 win at the RDS.

Having not been defeated at the RDS since Glasgow’s last visit to Dublin, it was no surprise to see Leinster burst out of the starting gates. A powerful series of early phases saw Joe Tomane and Dave Kearney combine to take play to within five metres, before the Leinster pack took over. Ryan Baird was eventually the man to crash over from short-range, Harry Byrne converting for a 7-0 lead.

Leinster were motoring in the early exchanges, and saw their efforts rewarded with a second try on 11 minutes. With advantage in hand, Byrne’s wide pass found the lurking Kearney on the wing for the run-in. The fly-half couldn’t add the extras from the touchline, but the home side led 12-0.

The Warriors, however, were beginning to establish a foothold in the match. Some clever tactical kicking from George Horne and Tommy Seymour saw Leinster pinned in their own 22, and the visitors duly struck for their first try of the night on 25 minutes. Nick Grigg laid the foundations with a lung-bursting carry inside the Leinster 22, before Horne’s switch and Seymour’s perfect angle saw the latter race over under the posts. Pete Horne made no mistake from straight in front, and the gap was back to five points.

The 12-point gap was soon re-established by the home side, however. A well-worked attack down the blindside saw Scott Fardy step outside the breakdown defence before offloading to James Lowe, the former Chief racing home from 25 metres. Byrne converted to make it the full seven points, and Leinster led 19-7.

Seymour almost had his second of the night just moments later, but the final word of the half would belong to Leinster. Having been the provider for Lowe’s score, Fardy then turned scorer with the clock in the red, dotting down from a matter of inches to hand his side a 24-7 lead at the interval.

The Warriors knew that they needed to score first in the second-half to maintain any hope of getting the desired result, something they achieved in style with just three minutes on the clock after the restart. Good identification of space from the Horne brothers saw Glasgow attack the blindside, before Ryan Wilson flipped the ball on to Kyle Steyn. The winger backed himself from his own half, skinning Will Connors and Max Deegan on the outside for a spectacular solo score. Horne’s conversion sailed wide, leaving the score at 24-12.

It was to be Leinster that strengthened their grip on proceedings from there on, however. Lowe was the next to cross on 51 minutes, finishing well under pressure from Huw Jones after a turnover in midfield had presented the opportunity.

Baird then produced a solo effort of his own five minutes later, with the young second-row galloping over from fully 45 metres for Leinster’s sixth try of the night. Byrne’s conversion took the scoreline to 36-12, and Leinster looked secure.

That position of security was further reinforced with 15 minutes to play, as the impressive Baird completed his hat-trick in more traditional fashion by barging over out wide. Yet Glasgow served notice of their intent to not go quietly into the Dublin night; a superb break from Tom Gordon and excellent link play from replacement scrum-half Jamie Dobie saw Alex Allan sprint over under the posts, Ruaridh Jackson converting to reduce the arrears.

Yet it would be Leinster, through the figure of Kearney, that would have the final say. The winger duly completed a hat-trick of his own inside the final five minutes – another scoring pass from Fardy handed him his second score of the evening with five minutes to play, before capitalising on a loose offload to touch down for his third with the final play. Ciaran Frawley converted both, with the final whistle sounding to bring the curtain down on proceedings.

live commentary 7:35 PM Friday 28 Feb 2020

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

Leinster

Glasgow Warriors

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