Friday 30 September 2016

Leavy swoops to secure last-gasp Leinster bonus

Zebre 10 Leinster 27

Published 29/02/2016 | 02:30

Leinster's Dan Leavy is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's fourth try of the match. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Dan Leavy is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's fourth try of the match. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Garry Ringrose is tackled by Zebre's Ian McKinley. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Leinster's Zane Kirchner is tackled by Zebre's Jacopo Sarto. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Leinster left it very late but they kept right on track for the Pro12 play-offs as they claimed a last-gasp bonus-point victory over Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

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After Connacht's impressive victory over Ospreys on Saturday night, Leinster knew they needed to keep up the pressure and they did, even though they had to wait until the 79th minute for Dan Leavy to score the fourth try which earned them all five points.

It's now eight from eight for Leinster against Zebre in the Pro12 but, more importantly, they move within a point of the leaders as they look to make amends for finishing outside the top four for the first time in 2015.

"We settled down a bit in the second half; it was just difficult to play so we are happy to have ground out a win and get the bonus point right at the very end," said coach Leo Cullen.

It was 12-3 at half-time as Luke McGrath crossed for their first after just six minutes and Dominic Ryan scored again soon after.

Former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley exchanged penalties with Isa Nacewa either side of half-time and after Adam Byrne's try, Leinster were made to wait till the very end for the maximum haul.

Zebre - M Muliaina; G Toniolatti, T Boni (M Azzolini 49), M Pratichetti (U Beyers 42), K van Zyl; I McKinley, F Semenzato (L Burgess 59); B Postiglioni (A de Marchi 7), O Fabiani (G Morelli 65), G Roan (P Ceccarelli 56); Q Geldenhuys, M Bortolami (G Koegelenberg 54); J Sarto, F Ruzza, J Meyer (E Caffini 19-34, 56).

Leinster - Z Kirchner; A Byrne (C Kelleher 74), G Ringrose (N Reid 54), B Te'o, I Nacewa; C Marsh, L McGrath (N McCarthy 63); P Dooley (J Loughman 63), J Tracy (S Cronin 47), T Furlong (M Bent 56); R Molony, M Kearney (H Triggs 47); D Ryan, D Leavy (P Timmins 80), J Murphy.

Ref - L Hodges (WRU)

Irish Independent

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