Sport Leinster Rugby

Friday 9 December 2016

Bath too strong for Blues

Leinster 19 Bath 39

Des Berry

Published 27/08/2016 | 02:30

Barry Daly goes over for a try during Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Barry Daly goes over for a try during Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Leinster were forced to accept second best to five-try Bath at Donnybrook last night in their final pre-season outing ahead of the start of the Pro12 campaign next Friday.

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The good news came in the apparent well-being of prop Cian Healy and full-back Rob Kearney as lock Ian Nagle looked to be the most serious doubt for next week Benetton Treviso clash with a shoulder injury.

When Leinster struck for two tries in as many minutes from Adam Byrne and Ross Molony, they looked likely to overtake match-hardened Bath.

However, the pre-determined course of action to introduce ten players, and another four within five minutes of the restart, reduced this to something more akin to a fitness exercise.

Bath sped out to a 13-point lead in 14 minutes from Dave Attwood's impressive finish and Rhys Priestland's accurate kicking.

The crowd of 3,982 came looking for something to shout about and half-backs Jamison Gibson-Park - with his lightning pass - and Joey Carbery grew into the game, to help Leinster close the gap to 20-12 by the break.

Cian Healy is tackled by Kahn Fotualii Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Cian Healy is tackled by Kahn Fotualii Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Bath stretched their lead but then had England wing Anthony Williams sin-binned, and the hosts profited from his absence, with Barry Daly cruising home, Ross Byrne's conversion cutting the lead to six.

However, Bath made light work of the last quarter as their reinforcements delivered the knockout blows with Harry Davis and George Ford executing tries from distance.

Leinster - R Kearney; G Ringrose, R O'Loughlin, N Reid, A Byrne; J Carbery, J Gibson-Park; C Healy, J Tracy, M Bent, R Molony (capt), M McCarthy, J Murphy, D Leavy, P Timmins. Reps: P Dooley, B Byrne, I Nagle, D Ryan, J van der Flier, N McCarthy, C Marsh, Z Kirchner, B Daly, H Triggs, J Loughman, T Daly, R O'Loughlin, A Porter for Dooley, J Murphy, P Timmins , C Rock, R Byrne, C Marsh, S McNulty.

Bath - A Watson; S Rokoduguni, M Clark, D Bowden, J Williams; R Priestland, K Fotuali'i; N Auterac, R Batty, H Thomas, L Charteris, D Attwood, M Garvey (capt), D Denton, T Faletau. Reps: C Ewels, N Catt, W Homer, G Ford, T Dunn, K Palma-Newport, H Davis.

Ref - F Murphy (IRFU).

Irish Independent

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