Madigan fires Leinster home
Out-half Ian Madigan responded to the pending transfer of Jonathan Sexton to France by posting 16 points in Leinster's emphatic PRO12 League 26-11 win over Cardiff Blues at The Arms Park last night.
"Ian kicked all his goals, which was excellent given how it was tough underfoot. He managed the game well, kicked well out of hand too," said team manager Guy Easterby.
Madigan kicked penalties in the fourth, 28th, and 32nd minutes to set up a 9-3 lead, before scrum-half Isaac Boss and number eight Jordi Murphy hit home for two tries in the space of three minutes, both converted by Madigan, for a 23-3 gap at the interval.
This was the winning of the game.
"We were accurate for the two tries. When we got into the 22, we put pressure on them, kept a hold of the ball and made it count," added Easterby.
Cardiff mounted a revival through a 51st-minute try by full-back Jason Tovey and a penalty by fly-half Rhys Patchell to make it 23-11 in the 59th minute.
It took a sure hand at the tiller to steady Leinster, Madigan stepping forth to nail a 70th-minute penalty going six-for-six on the evening.
Leinster move into second place in the league with Glasgow Warriors capable of recapturing that position if they can put paid to Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile tomorrow afternoon.
Leaders Ulster fell to only their second PRO12 League defeat of the season when their weakened side was outplayed by an Ospreys outfit that, despite missing even more squad members than their hosts, won the match 16-12.
It took a breakaway try by Ospreys prop Ryan Bevington to seal the four points for the visitors who at that stage were reduced to 14 men after Morgan Allen had been sin-binned moments earlier.
Ulster had to be content with the losing bonus point from their first PRO12 home defeat since succumbing to Leinster in April 2012, and they may also have to do without Ruan Pienaar, who was taken off in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Fly-half Owen Williams kicked 20 points as The Scarlets sealed a 25-15 win over Connacht at Parc y Scarlets.
Lock Joe Snyman scored The Scarlets' only try – his first try for the region.
But the Welsh side found themselves out-scored two tries to one by Connacht, who were indebted to scores from wing Daniel Poolman and lock Mike Swift at either end of the contest.