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Lowe and Daly's late show gets Leinster over line

Leinster 22 Scarlets 17

Try that: Leinster ace James Lowe crosses the whitewash
Try that: Leinster ace James Lowe crosses the whitewash

By Steve Simpson

Tries from James Lowe and Barry Daly in the final quarter steered runaway Conference B leaders Leinster to a 22-17 victory over the Scarlets at the RDS.

Rob Kearney and Jack McGrath got game time ahead of Ireland's Six Nations opener against England as Leinster established a 10-0 half-time lead.

Centre Rory O'Loughlin's try in the final play supplemented Ciaran Frawley's 30th-minute penalty.

Scarlets left points behind them before Kieran Hardy's converted score closed the gap to three and then Dan Jones booted them level on the hour mark.

Those well-taken scores from wingers Lowe (68 minutes) and Daly (71) put Leinster back in control until Hardy completed his brace.

Despite David Bulbring's early injury departure, there were positive early signs for Scarlets with scrum half Hardy and Ioan Nicholas both opening up the defence.

The hosts hit the front on the half-hour mark, prop McGrath barrelling through into the 22 before the prolonged attack ended with Frawley making it 3-0.

Jake Ball got over the gain-line but they were thwarted again when Marc Jones' neck roll on McGrath gave the home side a relieving penalty.

Indeed, Leinster showed their clinical edge late on with Lowe's well-weighted kick earning them a close-in lineout.

Scarlets coughed up a penalty and although they defended the next maul, Mick Kearney's loose pass was gobbled up by Conor O'Brien and turned into a try by his centre partner O'Loughlin.

Young fly-half Frawley added the extras.

The visitors got on the scoresheet in the second half when Davis fended off Kearney, sprinted clear and passed inside for Hardy to finish off.

Jones converted and punished a Caelan Doris high tackle with a levelling 59th-minute penalty, only for Leinster to pick off two crucial tries.

Jones was tackled into touch, and a few phases later replacement Jamison Gibson-Park's pass sent fellow New Zealander Lowe over in the left corner.

Frawley then converted Daly's terrific try on the opposite flank, before fellow replacement Noel Reid's inviting kick was dotted down by the inrushing Daly.

Despite Hardy's second seven-pointer, Scarlets had to settle for a losing bonus.

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