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Leavy makes his return as nine-try Leinster destroy Zebre

Leinster 63 Zebre 8

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Dan Leavy of Leinster, right, is congratulated by team-mate Scott Fardy after scoring a try, which was subsequently disallowed by the TMO, during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dan Leavy of Leinster, right, is congratulated by team-mate Scott Fardy after scoring a try, which was subsequently disallowed by the TMO, during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dan Leavy of Leinster, right, is congratulated by team-mate Scott Fardy after scoring a try, which was subsequently disallowed by the TMO, during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The bonus point was wrapped up by half-time, four debuts were handed out and Dan Leavy made a very welcome return 573 days after suffering a career-threatening injury.

As evenings go, this was just about perfect from a Leinster point of view.

There were positives aplenty and while Zebre, shorn of their Italy internationals, were desperately poor, Leo Cullen will be delighted by what he saw from his side, many of whom offered another glimpse of the future.

Leavy was sharp and slotted straight back into proceedings, in what were ideal circumstances.

If much of the focus was on one of the country's biggest names, then one of the younger stars announced his arrival, as Dan Sheehan marked his Leinster debut with two tries and an excellent all-round display.

Liam Turner also made his first appearance, while former Munster prop Ciaran Parker and Michael Silvester did the same off the bench.

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Dan Sheehan of Leinster scores his second and his side's fifth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dan Sheehan of Leinster scores his second and his side's fifth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dan Sheehan of Leinster scores his second and his side's fifth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Cullen's men scored nine tries in total, as Sheehan and Tommy O'Brien got a brace each, while Harry Byrne converted all nine for 18 points.

First-half tries from Michael Bent, Sheehan, Dave Kearney and Tommy O'Brien gave Leinster a 28-3 lead, before Sheehan and O'Brien each added a second, while Josh Murphy, Parker and Scott Penny also got in on the rout, as the PRO14 champions racked up yet another routine victory.

Leinster - J O'Brien; T O'Brien, L Turner, C Frawley (M Silvester 65), D Kearney; H Byrne, L McGrath (H O'Sullivan 56); P Dooley (M Milne 52), D Sheehan (J Tracy 52), M Bent (C Parker 52); R Molony, D Toner (J Dunne, 56); J Murphy (S Fardy 71), S Penny, R Ruddock (capt) (D Leavy 52).

Zebre - M Biondelli; P Bruno, T Boni (capt), E Lucchin, J Elliot; P Pescetto (A Rizzi 51), N Casillo (J Renton 51); P Buonfiglio (A Lovotti 51), M Manfredi (O Fabiani 51), A Tarus (M Nocera h-t); M Kearney, I Nagle (L Krumov 1); L Masselli, R Giammarioli, J Tuivaiti (S Ortis 21).

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Devin Toner of Leinster in action against Leonard Krumov, left, and Lorenzo Masselli of Zebre during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Devin Toner of Leinster in action against Leonard Krumov, left, and Lorenzo Masselli of Zebre during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Devin Toner of Leinster in action against Leonard Krumov, left, and Lorenzo Masselli of Zebre during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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Ref - C Evans (WRU).

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Josh Murphy of Leinster dives over to score his side's sixth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Josh Murphy of Leinster dives over to score his side's sixth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Josh Murphy of Leinster dives over to score his side's sixth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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Tommy O'Brien of Leinster scores his side's eighth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Tommy O'Brien of Leinster scores his side's eighth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Tommy O'Brien of Leinster scores his side's eighth try during the Guinness PRO14 match between Leinster and Zebre at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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