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Biggar the tormentor as Leinster's woes continue

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Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy attempts to keep the ball in play during his team's defeat against Ospreys

Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy attempts to keep the ball in play during his team's defeat against Ospreys

Leinster's Zane Kirchner is tackled by Ospreys' Joe Bearman

Leinster's Zane Kirchner is tackled by Ospreys' Joe Bearman

Leinster's Jimmy Gopperth is tackled by Ospreys' Duncan Jones and Joe Bearman

Leinster's Jimmy Gopperth is tackled by Ospreys' Duncan Jones and Joe Bearman

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip reacts to his side's defeat against Ospreys

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip reacts to his side's defeat against Ospreys

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip is tackled by Ospreys' Ashley Beck and Aaron Jarvis

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip is tackled by Ospreys' Ashley Beck and Aaron Jarvis

Leinster's Rob Kearney in action Ospreys' Jonathan Spratt

Leinster's Rob Kearney in action Ospreys' Jonathan Spratt

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Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy attempts to keep the ball in play during his team's defeat against Ospreys

Dan Biggar's boot made it a week to forget for Leinster as the RaboDirect Pro12 leaders were beaten in Swansea.

The Blues' hopes of securing European silverware for the fourth year in a row had been ended in Toulon last weekend, and they still have work to do to secure a home play-off spot after poor discipline proved costly at the Liberty Stadium.

Wales out-half Biggar was their tormentor in chief, booting five penalties, a drop goal and the conversion of Jeff Hassler's first-half try.

Cian Healy got Leinster's try, with Jimmy Gopperth adding the extras and four penalties of his own as the visitors at least left with the consolation of a bonus-point.

Gopperth should have had Leinster on the board in just the third minute after a crunching Martin Moore tackle on Joe Bearman had given the visitors possession. The Ospreys immediately infringed at a driving maul, but Kiwi Gopperth could only hit the upright from a straightforward angle.

CHANCE

However, the former Newcastle man made no mistake when handed another chance in the seventh minute after Bearman compounded his earlier error with a tip-tackle on Jamie Heaslip, which referee Marius Mitrea opted not to produce a card for.

The Ospreys had barely entered the Leinster half but they made the most of a rare Rob Kearney error – the full-back's huge punt going over the dead-ball line for a scrum on the edge of the Leinster '22' – by forcing a penalty which Biggar slotted.

The Wales fly-half could not repeat the feat from distance a few moments later when Kevin McLaughlin infringed, but obstruction from Isaac Boss as Biggar chased a Garryowen allowed the Ospreys man to give the hosts a 6-3 lead as the first quarter ended.

It was a scrappy affair but the Ospreys created and finished the first clear try-scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute.

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Biggar had been guilty of ignoring a three-man overlap when he hit Alun- Wyn Jones with a short pass, but the score came from the next phase, as full-back Richard Fussell, on his 100th Ospreys appearance, flipped the No 10's pass on for Hassler to cross in the corner, with Biggar converting.

Leinster had surrendered their early initiative but hit back gutsily just before half-time.

The Ospreys committed the sin of failing to gather the restart and gave away a penalty in the process.

Leinster went for the corner and, despite being denied at the first attempt, the pack rumbled over from close range, with Healy getting the ball down. Gopperth's conversion trimmed the deficit to three. Biggar soon had the margin back up to six by slotting his third penalty of the night seconds into the second half as Leinster again drew the ire of referee Mitrea from the kick-off.

The visitors responded with their best attack of the game.

Heaslip and Healy made huge inroads into Ospreys territory with powerful carries, but a slip from Boss slowed the attack and the home side recovered to force a turnover.

Leinster frustrations only grew when Biggar knocked over his latest penalty after Shane Jennings failed to roll away at the tackle area, with Mitrea warning skipper Leo Cullen about his side's ill-discipline.

Gopperth did at least bring them back within range with a penalty after an extended period in the Ospreys '22', and the New Zealander looked set to create a crucial try when he sent a looping pass out to Dave Kearney, but the wing shelled the ball with the line at his mercy.

However, Gopperth's reliable boot brought them level with two further penalties as Leinster took a stranglehold on proceedings.

But Biggar killed off the comeback with a snap drop-goal and yet another penalty inside the final nine minutes.

Ospreys – R Fussell; J Hassler, J Spratt, A Beck (S Davies 76), A Natoga (H Dirksen 52); D Biggar, T Haberfield; D Jones (N Smith 61) , S Baldwin, A Jarvis (A Jones 61), R Jones, AW Jones, J Bearman (J King 61), J Tipuric, D Baker (M Allen 75).

Leinster – R Kearney; Z Kirchner, G D'Arcy (C O'Shea 71), N Reid, D Kearney (D Fanning 75); J Gopperth, I Boss (L McGrath 75); C Healy, S Cronin, M Moore (M Ross 43-47, 61), L Cullen (D Toner 64) , D Toner (M McCarthy 61), K McLaughlin (J Murphy 41), S Jennings, J Heaslip.

Ref – M Mitrea (FIR)


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