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Edinburgh boost their play-off hopes by dismantling Leinster

Edinburgh 28 Leinster 11


Taken down: Edinburgh’s Henry Pyrgos tackles Jimmy O’Brien

Taken down: Edinburgh’s Henry Pyrgos tackles Jimmy O’Brien

Taken down: Edinburgh’s Henry Pyrgos tackles Jimmy O’Brien

Edinburgh remain in the running for a Guinness PRO14 play-off spot after posting a comfortable 28-11 win over champions Leinster at BT Murrayfield.

The Scots went into the game with little or no wriggle room in the race for a top-four finish and they produced a workmanlike effort to see off Leinster, who are already guaranteed top spot in Conference B.

Edinburgh reached the break with a 14-11 lead through a penalty try and a WP Nel touchdown, which was converted by Jaco van der Walt. Further scores by Ross Ford and Viliame Mata ensured a maximum five-point haul.

Leinster's points came in the first half through a Sean Cronin try and two penalties from Ciaran Frawley.

The visitors made the better start and crossed the whitewash after five minutes. However, the referee judged that Mick Kearney had been held up.

The score was only delayed and an offence at the ensuing scrum presented Frawley with a straightforward three points.

Edinburgh lost Fraser McKenzie to the sin bin, but the lock could consider himself fortunate not to have seen red for a dangerous tackle on Noel Reid who took no further part.

Leinster wasted no time in capitalising on their numerical advantage. A penalty was banged into touch five metres from the home line. Josh Murphy gathered at the lineout and a powerful drive created the opportunity for Cronin to rumble over.

Edinburgh finally made the breakthrough after 30 minutes. A penalty was kicked into touch and a multi-phase assault on the Leinster line ended with Nel forcing his way over and Van Der Walt adding the extras to cut the deficit to a point.

Frawley booted another penalty for the visitors but, by the interval, Edinburgh had seized the lead. A series of penalties came to nothing before the final play of the half - a scrum five metres from the line - yielded a penalty try.

The home side maintained the momentum at the start of the second period and - with Leinster flanker Dan Leavy in the sin bin - extended their lead when Ford blasted his way over from close range and Van Der Walt hammered over the conversion.

The focus then switched to securing a try bonus point and, after more than 15 minutes spent battering relentlessly at a resolute Leinster defence, Mata plunged over to clinch the key score. Simon Hickey added the extra two points to establish a 17-point lead.

Leinster never looked capable of overturning that gap, although they did finish with a flourish.

They thought they had added to their tally with the final play, only for it to be chalked off after referring to the television match official.

Belfast Telegraph