Saturday 20 December 2014

Leinster show no mercy as young pretenders sparkle

LEINSTER 40 TREVISO 5

JOHN FALLON

Published 17/02/2013 | 04:00

Leinster's Noel Reid is tackled by Dean Budd of Benetton Treviso

Leinster encountered few difficulties in chalking up their fifth try-bonus victory of the Pro12 campaign when they brushed aside a hapless Treviso side at the RDS last night. In hindsight, a tougher encounter would have served those with international ambitions far better, but Ian Madigan did all that was required of him to steer his men home, while Luke Fitzgerald also looked very sharp throughout.

Leinster encountered few difficulties in chalking up their fifth try-bonus victory of the Pro12 campaign when they brushed aside a hapless Treviso side at the RDS last night. In hindsight, a tougher encounter would have served those with international ambitions far better, but Ian Madigan did all that was required of him to steer his men home, while Luke Fitzgerald also looked very sharp throughout.

Madigan did not get many opportunities to display his kicking ability off the tee – except for conversions, where he hit four from five – as Leinster, wisely, decided to go to the corners from an early stage.

It was a policy which paid a rich dividend and the bonus point was in the bag by the 27th minute as a woeful Treviso side were quickly put to the sword.

A Madigan penalty from halfway found touch 15 metres from the visitors' line and while the first few surges were held, another lineout saw Dominic Ryan touch down for the first of his hat-trick after 10 minutes.

Madigan missed the conversion from the right touchline but he made no mistake from the other side three minutes later after a first try of the campaign for hooker Sean Cronin.

The Treviso challenge just never materialised and Leinster continued to dominate, with Ryan grabbing his second try after another penalty to the left corner after 23 minutes.

The bonus point was wrapped up four minutes later when Andrew Goodman broke from deep and Cronin was in support to score his second try, with Madigan adding the easy conversion for a 26-0 interval lead.

Ryan, who had only scored three tries in his previous 36 appearances for Leinster, completed his hat-trick seven minutes after the restart after another well-executed lineout move.

Treviso, whose handling was as poor as their penetration, somehow conjured a try when centre Doppies La Grange displayed deft hands for full-back Giulio Toniolatti to send winger Ludovico Nitoglia over in the left corner.

That made it 33-5 and the game disintegrated further as both sides emptied their benches, with Leo Auv'a getting Leinster's sixth try 11 minutes from the end.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said the victory kept them firmly in contention in the top four. "I'm delighted with the result. There were holes in the performance but the result is exactly what we need,'' said Schmidt. "We have got to stay up with that top four and with Connacht doing us a favour last night against the Ospreys it allows us put a small distance between us and Ospreys in the short term at least."

Scorers – Leinster: D Ryan (3), S Cronin (2), L Auv'a tries; I Madigan 4 cons, F McFadden con. Treviso: L Nitoglia try.

Leinster: L Fitzgerald; D Kearney, E O'Malley (F Carr 54), A Goodman (N Reid 54), F McFadden; I Madigan (I Boss 65), E Reddan; J McGrath (J O'Connell 65), S Cronin (A Dundon 73), J Hagan (M Bent 56); B Marshall (L Cullen 54), D Toner; R Ruddock, D Ryan, J Murphy (L Auv'a 56).

Treviso: G Toniolatti (B Williams 56); L Nitoglia, A Pratichetti (C Loamanu 58,), D La Grange, T Iannone; J Ambrosini, F Semenzato; M Rizzo (I Fernandex-Rouyet 65), G Maistri, J Roux (P Di Santo 65); M Fuser (F Giusti 33), C Van Zyl; D Budd, V Bernabo (F Sbaraglini 65), M Vosawai.

Referee: L Hodges (WRU)

Irish Independent

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