Kearney back with two tries as Leinster rout Treviso
Treviso 14-40 Leinster
Published 13/02/2017 | 02:30
Just over a month since their last Guinness PRO12 outing, Leinster picked up where they left off with another commanding win against Italian opposition.
Leo Cullen, and indeed Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, will also have been pleased to see Dave Kearney, Joey Carbery and Mike Ross emerge unscathed after long periods out through injury.
Leinster started scoring after just 57 seconds, when Rory O'Loughlin crossed. A delicate chip over the top by the impressive Ross Byrne was gathered by the former St Michael's man, who slid under the posts.
Treviso dominated for the next 20 minutes and only great cover by Leinster full-back Zane Kirchner, on two occasions, and a last-ditch, one-on-one tackle by Ross Byrne on Andrea Pratichetti kept the home side at bay.
A knock-on in midfield by Treviso gave Leinster their next opportunity. Dominic Ryan capitalised before a delicate pop pass to Ian Nagle got Leinster on the front foot. It wasn't long before Dave Kearney was crossing unopposed in the left corner.
Four minutes later and it was Kearney again, this time after great hands out wide by Jamison Gibson-Park and O'Loughlin.
Treviso got the try their efforts deserved just before half-time, when Julian Barbieri drove over from close range. Ian McKinley added the extras to leave the home side trailing 7-21 at the break.
The bonus point try came on 49 minutes when Adam Byrne crossed wide on the right. Ross Byrne added the extra two points from the most awkward of angles.
Once again, Treviso came back and were unlucky with a number of line breaks before Pratichetti got a try on 54 minutes. McKinley again added the extras to leave them trailing 14-28.
Joey Carbery crashed over from close range after 64 minutes for Leinster's fifth try, as Leo Cullen unloaded the rest of his subs.
It was another substitute, Bryan Byrne, who again went over from close range after 71 minutes to make it 14-38.
Jack Conan, Joey Carbery and Adam Byrne all went close late on as Treviso had a man in the bin, but Leinster could not add to their six tries in Italy.
Next up for Leinster is the visit of Edinburgh to the RDS Arena next Friday and with it the chance to close the gap even further on PRO12 leaders Munster at the top.
Benetton Treviso: L Sperandio (Benettin 70); A Pratichetti, T Iannone, A Sgarbi (capt), A Buondonno (Tagicakibau 62); I McKinley, T Tebaldi (Francescato 29); R Barbieri (Zanini 68), D Budd, M Lazzaroni, T Paulo, F Gerosa (Minto 18), T Pasquali (Zanusso 65), L Bigi (Giazzon 52), F Zani (De Marchi 52)
Leinster: Z Kirchner; A Byrne, R O'Loughlin (Carbery 51), N Reid (Daly 67), D Kearney; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park (McGrath 61); P Dooley (Porter 50), R Strauss (capt) (Byrne 50), M Bent (Ross 50), M Kearney, I Nagle (Molony 61), D Ryan, D Leavy (Timmins 67), 8. J Conan
Ref: Dan Jones