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Leinster fall short in their bid to reach the summit

NG Dragons 23-13 Leinster

By Nick Purewal

Published 30/01/2016

Reaching out: Luke McGrath scores Leinster’s first try
Reaching out: Luke McGrath scores Leinster’s first try

Leinster missed the opportunity to go top of the Guinness Pro12 after they were beaten 23-13 at strugglers Newport Gwent Dragons.

Fly-half Jason Tovey scored 18 points as the Dragons secured a richly-deserved fourth league win of the campaign.

Tovey went through the card with a try, two penalties, a drop goal and two conversions, while wing Ashton Hewitt got their other try.

Leinster's Fergus McFadden booted two penalties and converted scrum-half Luke McGrath's try but the Irish side failed to leapfrog Scarlets at the top of the table.

The Welsh region went in 17-10 ahead after Hewitt, who had a storming opening period, put the Dragons ahead after he dashed past McFadden and prop Michael Bent to the line.

Tovey converted the try and McFadden soon reduced the arrears with a penalty before McGrath caught the home defence napping as Leinster had their first decent attack inside the home 22.

The Irishmen's scrum-half picked up 20 metres out and dived through a gap to go under the posts, making McFadden's conversion simple.

After several attacking line-outs and a yellow card for Leinster flanker Dan Leavy, the defence finally cracked as Tovey was put over by quick hands on the right from props Boris Stankovich, Brok Harris and finally a Rynard Landman overhead.

Tovey converted and added a 20-metre drop goal for their half-time advantage.

McFadden secured his second penalty of the night from 25 metres.

When Leinster put their hands in a ruck, Tovey booted his first penalty to restore the seven-point advantage.

The Irishmen were dealt a blow when McFadden was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Sarel Pretorius.

That sank Leinster and a final Tovey penalty denied Leo Cullen's side a losing bonus point.

Belfast Telegraph

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