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Returning big guns fire to give resilient Leinster welcome bonus

Rugby

Published 17/09/2016

In control: Isa Nacewa (right) helped Leinster get over their recent defeat
In control: Isa Nacewa (right) helped Leinster get over their recent defeat

Leinster brought back a number of big guns and the heavy artillery helped to deliver a confidence-restoring 33-20 win against Edinburgh after last weekend's defeat to Glasgow.

While defence was key, it was their midfield trio's use of space and the ball that contributed to the visitors achieving their try bonus point by half-time.

Edinburgh started the game at a blistering pace, conjuring a score in the second minute with a try from right wing Mike Allen.

Duncan Weir missed the touchline conversion but was on target with a penalty four minutes later to make it 8-0.

Leinster countered with a spell of ball retention which brought a score when Noel Reid put Dan Leavy into space for a clear romp to the line, leaving Isa Nacewa a simple conversion.

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose then went over, again converted by Nacewa. The Blues struck again when Nacewa strolled in on the overlap, and the captain converted his own score.

The bonus-point try came when scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park dummied over.

Edinburgh's woes were compounded by the sin-binning on the stroke of half-time of skipper Grant Gilchrist for collapsing the maul, leaving a gutted home side trailing 26-8 at the break.

Five minutes into the second half Leinster were likewise reduced to 14, with Leavy punished for a tip tackle. It was the confidence lift the home side needed, the injection of adrenalin resulting in a try by flanker Hamish Watson, Weir adding the extras.

But finally Leinster's defence cracked, as replacement lock Fraser McKenzie sprinted to the line before off-loading to Magnus Bradbury.

It seemed that Edinburgh had earned an unlikely bonus point only for Leavy to spoil the muted home celebrations with an 80th-minute close-range try, converted by Nacewa.

In the night's other game, Cardiff Blues edged out Glasgow Warriors 23-19.

Belfast Telegraph

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