'Constant threat' Joey Carbery gives Schmidt a nudge in Leinster stroll
Leinster 45-9 Scarlets
Leo Cullen hinted that he was tiring of talking up Joey Carbery, but on the youngster’s latest bright showing in blue, he’d better get used to it.
From his less favoured full-back role, the 21-year-old scored two tries in three second-half minutes as Leinster swarmed all over their in-form visitors. Nice preparation for another crack at Joe Schmidt’s squad this week.
Luke McGrath also ran in two tries, but once again Leinster’s power up front sucked in tacklers and Ross Byrne’s crossfield kicks proved the telling plays.
Three of the four tries to arrive in 12 second-half minutes came via this route, and Cullen tipped his hat to their slick play.
“Ross’ recognition of where the space is and the relationship between Ross and the wingers is really coming on,” said the coach.
“Scarlets were getting a bit tight defensively, so kicking to Adam Byrne’s side of the field in the second half got us a lot of really good rewards.
“Joey looked really comfortable. He’s just a constant threat, a second pair of hands as well in attack. He’s a very comfortable footballer. You can play him in most positions across the backline.”
It was far from a routine opening 40 minutes for the league leaders, though. Playing into a strong wind Leinster, struggled to break down Scarlets, who themselves looked well drilled in attack, but the Welsh region still trailed 12-9 at the interval.
McGrath’s two tries were pivotal in a tricky half. His first was a sharp break off the back of the scrum; his second came after his own block-down of Dan Jones’ clearance kick.
“It was very much about wearing them down,” said Cullen. “We felt that they were starting to tire on half-time. We get better field position, you’ve the wind at your back the guys carried with a real intent.”
Armed with that breeze Leinster were awesome at times.
On 48 minutes Ross Byrne picked out Fergus McFadden before Rhys Ruddock charged over.
Three minutes later Carbery wrapped up the bonus point after McGrath was stopped short. Then in the 54th and 59th minutes Ross Byrne and Adam Byrne combined for carbon copy tries finished off by Carbery and Ed Byrne.
Yet again Jamison Gibson-Park was bright after his arrival and he ran in try No 7 at the death.
Leinster – J Carbery; A Byrne (B Daly 60), Z Kirchner, N Reid (T Daly 56), F McFadden; R Byrne, L McGrath (J Gibson-Park 60); P Dooley (E Byrne 57), R Strauss (c, B Byrne 57), M Bent (M Ross 49); R Molony, H Triggs (M McCarthy 60); R Ruddock (M Deegan 68), D Leavy, J Conan.
Scarlets – J McNicholl; T Williams, S Hughes (J Nicolas 45), H Parkes (c), DTH van der Merwe; D Jones (A Thomas 56), J Evans (D Smith 79); W Jones (L Garrett 69), E Elias (D Hughes 69), W Kruger (N Thomas 49); T Price, T Beirne; A Shingler (R Bernardo 56), J Davies (M Allen 50), W Boyde.
Ref – N Owens (Wales)