Leinster Edge To Victory Over Edinburgh At RDS Stadium

 

Leinster ended Edinburgh’s winning start to the United Rugby Championship season with a well-judged 36-27 bonus-point victory at the RDS Arena.

Running out five-try winners at home for the second week running, Leo Cullen’s young side led 21-6 at half-time thanks to converted scores from Lee Barron, Max Deegan and Ciaran Frawley.

Edinburgh lock Glen Young’s yellow card saw their first-half deficit increase from four points to 15, despite Ben Healy responding with his second penalty.

The wind-backed Scots rallied with replacements James Lang, Connor Boyle and Boan Venter all crossing, but Leinster made sure to stay out of reach.

Third-quarter tries from Tommy O’Brien and James Culhane, coupled with replacement Sam Prendergast’s 70th-minute penalty, ensured it was another maximum haul for the hosts.

Former Munster fly-half Healy gave the fast-starting Scots a 17th-minute lead following a Hamish Watson steal, but they began the second quarter by conceding a soft try.

Tom Dodd spoiled a close-in Leinster lineout, but hooker Barron swooped on the breaking ball to touch down under Charlie Shiel’s tackle. Harry Byrne converted from the right for a 7-3 lead.

Edinburgh’s discipline let them down with repeated penalties, and with Young binned for offside, Deegan duly crashed over from close range.

Although Healy rewarded Edinburgh’s strong scrum with a penalty, his opposite number Byrne floated a pinpoint pass, over Duhan van der Merwe, to send Frawley over just before the interval.

Having blown a maul opportunity early in the second period, Edinburgh came under further pressure from the strong-running Jamie Osborne and O’Brien.

A deserved score followed for O’Brien, who evaded Matt Currie’s tackle after Charlie Ngatai and Byrne had neatly worked Barron into space. Byrne added the extras for a 28-6 advantage.

Edinburgh replied with a peach of a try, Lang going over from a Shiel pass. Blair Kinghorn’s excellent counter-attacking run did a lot of the damage, but a moment like that was too rare from Sean Everitt’s side.

Healy converted but was guilty of missing touch from penalties, and Leinster were too good when the try-line was in sight. Young number eight Culhane powered through a lineout drive to open his account for the province.

Edinburgh’s pack gave them a sniff with 14 minutes remaining, a well-executed maul putting Boyle over and Healy converted. Venter also scored following a Shiel snipe, but Prendergast’s well-struck penalty had Leinster too far in front.

Scorers:
Leinster: Tries: Lee Barron, Max Deegan, Ciaran Frawley, Tommy O'Brien, James Culhane. Conversions: Harry Byrne (4). Penalty: Sam Prendergast.
Edinburgh: Tries: James Lang, Connor Boyle, Boan Venter. Conversions: Ben Healy (3). Penalties: Ben Healy (2).