Sunday 20 August 2017

Joey Carbery shines as Leinster go top but victory comes at a cost

Leinster 39 Edinburgh 10

Joey Carbery of Leinster celebrates after scoring his second and his side's third try
Joey Carbery of Leinster celebrates after scoring his second and his side's third try

Joey Carbery marked his first start since December with two tries as Leinster earned a 39-10 GUINNESS PRO12 bonus point win over Edinburgh at the RDS.

Joey Carbery marked his first start since December with two tries as Leinster earned a 39-10 GUINNESS PRO12 bonus point win over Edinburgh at the RDS.

Back in blue following ankle surgery, Carbery pressed his Ireland claims with a lively display but flanker Josh van der Flier's shoulder injury will cause concern for Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

Winger Barry Daly's second ever try for the province was the difference at half-time, Leinster leading 8-3 despite Edinburgh having a lot of front-foot ball.

A run of tries from Carbery (2) and Daly between the 47th and 55th minutes saw Leo Cullen's men take a firm grip on proceedings as they moved temporarily to the top of the PRO12 table.

The final quarter brought about three more tries, Duncan Weir's lone seven-pointer for Edinburgh being sandwiched by further scores from Leinster's man-of-the-match Dan Leavy and fellow replacement Bryan Byrne.

Josh van der Flier, left, and Hayden Triggs of Leinster following the Guinness PRO12 Round 15 match between Leinster and Edinburgh at the RDS Arena in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Josh van der Flier, left, and Hayden Triggs of Leinster following the Guinness PRO12 Round 15 match between Leinster and Edinburgh at the RDS Arena in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

After a frenetic opening with both sides preying on turnovers, it was the hosts who nipped ahead in the ninth minute. Leavy scooped up a loose ruck ball to charge into the 22 and fly-half Carbery's skip pass paved the way for Daly to dive over in the left corner.

However, Lenster's forward resources were tested with Dominic Ryan (HIA) and van der Flier both departing during a bruising first quarter that saw Edinburgh have much of the possession.

The Scots laid a prolonged siege to the Leinster try-line, with Cornell du Preez and Magnus Bradbury both prominent, but they had no points to show for it after Leavy forced a ruck penalty.

The pace finally slackened as Carbery and Weir swapped penalties, but Edinburgh would have been at least level at the break had Tom Brown held onto Chris Dean's long pass following the centre's classy break.

The attritional nature of the game also saw Rory O'Loughlin and Dave Kearney replaced, with Carbery having to move to full-back and Luke McGrath soon moving to the wing. It was Carbery who finished off Leinster's second try in the 47th minute, carrying Damien Hoyland with him over the whitewash after a maul had gone close.

A lightning quick move, sparked by Noel Reid's well-timed pass and carried on by McGrath and Jamison Gibson-Park, saw Carbery swiftly complete his brace. Gibson-Park then increased his influence from scrum half with a cracking pass that took out two defenders for Daly's 55th-minute bonus point score.

Leavy burst off the back of a maul for try number five and although the replays of George Turner's brilliant one-handed offload for Weir's touchdown drew appreciative applause from the home crowd, Leinster had the final say when Bryan Byrne, who had to slot into the back row, barged over from five metres out and Ross Byrne added his third successful conversion.

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