Leinster Rugby v Edinburgh
Edinburgh Rugby fell to a 39-10 defeat at the hands of a clinical Leinster side tonight (Friday 17 February) at the Dubliner’s home-ground, RDS Arena.
It was a tale of two-halves, with Leinster holding only a slender five-point (8-3) lead at the interval in a hard-fought encounter, before asserting their dominance in the second-half with a fine attacking display in which the added further five tries to close out the game in their favour.
Edinburgh stand-off, Duncan Weir, and his opposite number, Joey Carbery, exchanged penalties in the first-half, with a try from wing, Barry Daly, proving the difference between the sides.
Daly again featured in the second-half in securing a try-brace, and was joined by Carbery – who also crossed the whitewash twice –, Man of the Match Dan Leavy and replacement hooker Bryan Byrne on the scoresheet.
Weir scored Edinburgh’s only try of the game – to which he duly converted – ten minutes from the final whistle.
Leinster were first on the scoreboard on nine minutes with a try in the corner from wing Daly, following a period of sustained pressure on the Edinburgh line. Carbery was unable to add the extras with the tough touchline conversion (5-0).
Edinburgh enjoyed a long period of possession and territory, and were eventually rewarded with a penalty which they opted to kick into touch. However, despite winning the resulting lineout, the decision to try and build their momentum failed to pay dividends as a penalty soon went the other way and Leinster were afforded the chance to clear their lines.
Following a fallow 20 minutes on the scoreboard, the home side built on their slender lead with 32 minutes on the clock when Carberry made amends for his earlier miss and slotted a penalty from 40 metres out (8-0).
The eight-point deficit, however, was soon reduced when Weir got Edinburgh up-and-running on the scoresheet with a penalty three minutes later (8-3).
The visitors looked the livelier side in attack, and so nearly drew level in the final play of the first-half when Chris Dean broke in midfield before floating a beautifully weighted pass out-wide to Tom Brown, who was unlucky not to collect the ball for the score.
Half-time: Leinster 8 – 3 Edinburgh Rugby
The momentum swung quickly in Leinster’s favour as the sides took to the paddock for the second-half as Carbery exposed a half-gap in the defence to score on 47 minutes, before collecting the ball on a support line for a second try just six minutes later.
Carbery failed to add the extras to his first score, yet replacement Ross Byrne subsequently took on kicking duties and converted the latter (20-3).
Leinster were firmly in the driving seat and went on to score their bonus point try on 55 minutes when replacement scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park exposed an overlap on the blindside and released Daly, who scuttled down the wing for his second score of the game.
The home side showed no signs of letting up as replacement flanker Leavy broke from a driving lineout maul for his side’s sixth score of the night as the game entered the final quarter, with Byrne making amends for his previous miss with the conversion (32-3).
Edinburgh showed real character in their final foray into Leinster’s half with Weir scooping up and impressive offload from replacement hooker George Turner for a try. The stand-off duly converted his own score (32-10).
However, Weir’s seven-pointer was almost instantly nulled when Leinster’s hooker Byrne bundled over for his side’s sixth try of the game, with Ross Byrne adding the extras to finish the scoring for the night (39-10).
Full-time: Leinster 39 – 10 Edinburgh Rugby