Leinster cruise past Bath
REPORT: Four-time European champions Leinster kicked off their Champions Cup Pool A campaign as they eased to a 45-20 win over Bath in Dublin on Saturday.
Jamison Gibson-Park kicked things off as he dived over in the corner on three minutes, and Leinster had a second eight minutes later as Tadhg Furlong powered over.
James Lowe then dotted down after a smart offload by Hugo Keenan, and with Bath reduced to 14 men after Richard de Carpentier’s yellow card, the pair reversed roles to supply a fourth try on 24 minutes.
Lowe produced some deft hands to send Keenan over, before Gibson-Park capitalised on some slack Bath tackling to notch his second and Leinster’s fifth inside half an hour.
Bath did, however, manage one moment of quality at the end of the first half, with a clever line-out move releasing Jacques du Toit down the blindside to reduce the deficit slightly.
But Leinster was well in control and added to their tally seven minutes into the second half as Ronan Kelleher bundled over.
Bath’s frustrating day was typified by a potential second try on 51 minutes being ruled out for an illegal maul construction.
Leinster would then score a seventh with just under an hour played as Josh van der Flier forced his way over after a period of relentless pressure.
Bath was improved in the second half though and managed to stem the tide as the game wore on and were rewarded for their efforts when Gabe Hamer-Webb crossed late on.
Leinster travel to Montpellier Hérault in Round 2 while Bath are at home to last season’s Heineken Champions Cup finalists Stade Rochelais.
Tries: Gibson-Park 2, Furlong, Lowe, Keenan, Kelleher, Van der Flier
Cons: Byrne 5
Tries: Du Toit, Hamer-Webb
Cons: Bailey 2
Pens: Bailey 2
Yellow card: Richard de Carpentier (Bath, 22)
Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ciarán Frawley, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 Ryan Baird, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Jimmy O’Brien, 23 Tommy O’Brien.
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Will Butt, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Richard de Carpentier, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Charlie Ewels (captain), 4 Josh McNally, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Lewis Boyce.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Ewan Richards, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Gabe Hamer-Webb, 23 Tom Prydie.
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Luc Ramos (France), Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)