Saturday 24 March 2018

Leinster hit back with Murrayfield victory

Isa Nacewa scored 13 points on his 150th Leinster appearance
Isa Nacewa scored 13 points on his 150th Leinster appearance

Leinster bounced back from last week's defeat at Glasgow with a 33-20 win over Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12.

The Irish outfit found themselves 8-0 down in the early stages of the Murrayfield clash but they were in control at half-time after tries from Dan Leavy, Garry Ringrose, Jamison Gibson-Park and Isa Nacewa put them 26-8 up.

Leinster failed to hit the same heights in the second half and Edinburgh pulled back thanks to scores from Hamish Watson and Magnus Bradbury.

But the visitors had the last word through a last-minute Leavy try, with Nacewa adding his fourth conversion on his 150th Leinster appearance.

Edinburgh earned their first win of the season against Scarlets last time out and they carried that form into Friday's match, with wing Mike Allen reaching a well-weighted kick from Phil Burleigh for an unconverted try before Duncan Weir slotted over a penalty.

But Leinster then grabbed hold of the game through driving play, in particular from Noel Reid, Devin Toner and Jamie Heaslip, and reduced the deficit on 13 minutes when inter-passing was finished off by flanker Leavy, breaking away to run in from the 22.

As the first quarter ended Joey Carbery sent centre Ringrose over before wing Nacewa finished off another neat passage of play on his first outing of the season.

With five minutes left of the first period, Leinster secured a bonus point when scrum-half Gibson-Park nipped over the line from close range.

Edinburgh lost captain Grant Gilchrist to the sin bin in the last minute of the first half and Leavy joined him soon after the restart to make it 14 against 14.

In Leavy's absence Edinburgh flanker Watson ended a spell of pressure on the visitors' line, with Weir converting to make it 26-15.

Edinburgh continued to dominate possession and territory and thought they had closed the gap further, but Glenn Bryce had a foot on the touchline before finishing another neat kick into the in-goal area from Burleigh.

The hosts did cut the difference to six points with five minutes left courtesy of an unconverted try from Bradbury, but Leavy completed the scoring with his second try, converted by Nacewa, to seal victory.

Press Association

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