Leinster thump Gloucester to book play-off spot
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster produced a clinical display in the Champions Cup with a 49-14 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday.
The Irish province notched seven tries in the contest, Jordan Lamour, Michael Ala’Alatoa, Jamie Osborne, Caelan Doris, Hugo Keenan, Josh van der Flier and Rónan Kelleher all crossing the whitewash for the four-time champions as they booked their place in the Round of 16.
Gloucester did get on the scoreboard through a pair of penalty tries awarded midway through each half, but failed to maintain much of a threat against a strong Leinster outfit.
Lamour opened the scoring for Leinster within four minutes. A well-worked line-out out got the ball in the hands of Doris who timed his offload to perfection as Lamour scampered through to dot down.
Leinster added a second six minutes later. A simple tap and go was relayed to Ala’alatoa under the posts – the forward crossing the whitewash untouched.
Gloucester did reply midway through the first half. The Cherry and Whites won their own line-out and produced a devastating rolling maul that was illegally brought down by the visiting Irish province – Andrew Porter earning a yellow card for foul play.
Despite being a man down, Leinster scored next through a delightful solo run by Osborne following a line-out on the right.
Then deep into added time in the first half, the visitors notched the bonus point, Doris powering over after another tap and go inside the hosts’ 22.
Leinster were soon over the whitewash once again early in the second period. A breakthrough run by James Ryan set up the move, Ross Byrne tipping a pass into the hands of Keenan who tiptoed down the sideline and across for a fifth try.
Gloucester were awarded their second penalty try of the contest midway through the second half, Doris illegally bringing down a rolling maul that was destined to cross the try line – earning the Leinster man 10 minutes in the sin bin.
But Leinster added their sixth try of the game in the final 10 minutes, van der Flier powering over from close range after a well worked line-out. A seventh followed when Kelleher crossed over from a rolling maul off the lineout, cementing the victory for the visitors.
Leinster will look to close out their Pool A campaign with four wins from four when they host Racing 92 next weekend, while Gloucester will be hoping to secure a Round of 16 berth in a must-win game against Union Bordeaux-Bègles.
Tries: Penalty Tries 2
Tries: Larmour, Ala’alatoa, Osborne, Doris. Keenan, Van der Flier, Kelleher
Cons: R Byrne 5, H Byrne 2
Yellow cards: Seb Atkinson (Gloucester, 10); Andrew Porter (Leinster, 25′); Caelan Doris (Leinster, 64′); Santiago Carreras (Gloucester, 77′)
Gloucester: 15 George Barton, 14 Jonny May, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Seb Blake, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Cam Jordan, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Tom Seabrook.
Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose (captain), 12 Jamie Osborne, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Ryan Baird, 5 James Ryan, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Ala’alatoa, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Rónan Kelleher, 17 Michael Milne, 18 Cian Healy, 19 Brian Deeny, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Liam Turner.
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant Referees: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France) & Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)