Tuesday 22 August 2017

Leinster leave their recovery too late

Scarlets 25-14 Leinster

Leinster's Garry Ringrose tries to shake off Hadleigh Parkes
Leinster's Garry Ringrose tries to shake off Hadleigh Parkes
Leinster's Isa Nacewa on his way to scoring his side's first try
Leinster's Dominic Ryan has his advance blocked by John Barclay, left, and Gareth Owen
Lesinter's Tom Denton is tackled by Tom Price, left, and Steve Shingler of Scarlets

Matt Lloyd

Leinster failed to shake off their hit-and-miss start to the Pro12 season as they were outsmarted by unbeaten Scarlets.

Isa Nacewa and replacement hooker James Tracy crossed in the second half to limit the damage on the scoreboard.

But by then, the game was already beyond the visitors at 25-0 down, with Canadian World Cup star DTH van der Merwe - a new Scarlets signing - getting two tries and James Davies one.

The one positive to emerge from a difficult night for Leinster head coach Leo Cullen at Parc Y Scarlets was the performance of Cathal Marsh off the bench late on.

Cullen had been forced to reshuffle a winning team and it was a tough learning curve for the youthful visitors.

They dominated possession in the first half but did precious little with it and trailed 15-0 at half-time.

Davies crossed inside eight minutes before Leinster were caught by a classic sucker-punch as Van der Merwe picked off Noel Reid's erratic pass for a breakaway try.

Reid was then sin-binned early in the second half and Van der Merwe grabbed his second try before Steven Shingler kicked Scarlets 25-0 ahead.

The arrival off the bench of Mick McGrath, Marsh and Luke McGrath helped turn the tide for Leinster.

Mick McGrath's burst and Reid's off-load handed Nacewa an easy finish before Tracy finished a lineout drive in the final minute.

Scarlets - A Thomas; H Parkes, R King, G Owen, DTH van der Merwe; S Shingler, A Davies (R Williams 62); R Evans (P John 68), K Myhill (R Elias 68), P Edwards (W Taylor 58), G Earle, T Price, A Shingler (J Condy 64), J Barclay (capt, T Phillips 74), J Davies.

Leinster - I Nacewa; G Ringrose, C O'Shea (M McGrath 55), N Reid, F McFadden; R Byrne (C Marsh 64), I Boss (L McGrath, 64); M Bent (P Dooley 57), B Byrne (J Tracy 57), M Moore (J Hagan 50), R Molony, T Denton (T Beirne 74), D Ryan, D Leavy (T Ryan, 61), J van der Flier.

Ref - P Fitzgibbon (IRFU)

Irish Independent

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