Sunday 21 October 2018

Bennett on the mark late on as Edinburgh stun Leinster

Edinburgh 29 Leinster 24

Leinster’s Dave Kearney is tackled by Dougie Fife. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster’s Dave Kearney is tackled by Dougie Fife. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster's hopes of moving to the top of Pro14 Conference B were dashed by an Edinburgh side that took their chances after exposing the vulnerability of the visitors' rush defence.

Still, two bonus points for Leinster made the trip worthwhile but there will be disappointment that the visitors did not make their forward power tell.

Leinster's Scott Fardy scores his side's second try. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster's Scott Fardy scores his side's second try. Photo: Sportsfile

It was Leinster who struck first with a series of forward drives that ended with the No 8 Max Deegan forcing his way over for a try converted by out-half Ross Byrne.

The Leinster playmaker then gifted Edinburgh a score when his chip was charged down, allowing the Edinburgh back-row Luke Crosbie to gather and sprint to the line, Jaco van der Merwe's conversion levelling the scores.

Edinburgh then profited after Dave Kearney was stripped of the ball by Mark Bennett whose pass to Nathan Fowles sent the home scrum-half over the line.

Leinster quickly recovered, using their forward power to dominate possession and territory and when Jamison Gibson-Park cleverly switched the direction of attack, after a series of close-range drives, second-row Scott Fardy was on hand to touch down, Byrne again converting.

Leinster's Ross Molony contests a lineout with Edinburgh's Fraser McKenzie. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster's Ross Molony contests a lineout with Edinburgh's Fraser McKenzie. Photo: Sportsfile

The visitors extended their lead when Gibson-Park threw out a long pass that gave winger Barry Daly an unconverted try.

Edinburgh hit back and were rewarded with a Murray McCallum try in first-half stoppage time, leaving Leinster 19-17 ahead at the break.

After a tight start to the second half, the deadlock was broken by Edinburgh when replacement Sam Hidalgo-Clyne chipped the defence for wing Duhan van der Merwe to power over.

Leinster quickly hit back with a second try for Daly created by dogged forward power and then a sublime pass from Byrne for a two-point lead yet again.

However, Glenn Bryce tapped a kick back into the hands of Bennett, who romped over for Edinburgh's fifth try and Hidalgo-Clyne converted for a five-point victory.

Edinburgh - D Fife, D Graham (G Bryce 66), M Bennett, C Dean (J Rasolea 68), R Van der Merwe, R Van der Walt, N Fowles (S Hidaldo-Clyne 58), J Lay (R Sutherland 58 ), C Fenton (N Cochrane 41), M McCallum (M Shields 66), F McKenzie (capt), L Carmichael , L Crosbie (J Hardie 69) , J Ritchie (J Ritchie 69), V Mata.

Leinster- D Kearney; F McFadden, R O'Loughlin, N Reid, B Daly; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park (L McGrath 58); P Dooley (E Byrne 43), R Strauss (capt) (B Byrne 43), M Bent (O Heffernan ), R Molony, S Fardy, J Murphy (M Kearney 71), W Connors, M Deegan.

REF - Paul Williams (NZRFU)

Irish Independent

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