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Leinster back in the top two with nine-try romp over Ospreys

REPORT: Jordan Larmour scored his first senior hat-trick for Leinster as the Irish province produced a second-half masterclass to hammer Ospreys 61-14 at the RDS Arena.

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Leinster only led 21-14 at half-time but turned up the power after the break to score six unanswered tries en route to a comprehensive win that lifts them up to second in the United Rugby Championship, a point behind Glasgow Warriors with two rounds remaining.

Jimmy O’Brien, Ross Molony, Jason Jenkins, Jamie Osborne, Charlie Ngatai and Tommy O’Brien also touched down for the hosts, with Ross Byrne converting five of the nine tries and Ciaran Frawley three.

Ospreys had been level at 14-14 midway through the first half following an Owen Watkin effort and a penalty try but they were brushed aside after that to drop one place to 11th in the table.

Jimmy O’Brien opened the scoring inside the opening three minutes, evading Luke Morgan’s tackle to surge over from the left wing.

Ross Byrne converted and did likewise in the 11th minute after second row Molony celebrated his 30th birthday with a well-taken score from close range.

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Nonetheless, Ospreys fired back impressively when Morgan Morris linked with Watkin off a scrum, and the centre cut inside both Osborne and Josh van der Flier for a slick seven-pointer.

The Welsh side were level by the 18th minute, as Dan Edwards dangled a cross-field kick out to Morgan in the right corner. He was tackled in the air by Frawley, leading to a yellow card and a penalty try.

Leinster retook the lead in the 27th minute when Max Nagy failed to deal with a clever Byrne kick, and Larmour swooped in to ground the ball, and the home side never looked back.

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Ominously, Jenkins fended off Morgan to score inside a minute of the restart after half-tome, and Byrne supplied his fourth successful conversion.

By the hour mark, replacement Jamison Gibson-Park, captain Caelan Doris and Robbie Henshaw all contributed to a pacy attack that netted Larmour’s second try out wide.

Even when the ball broke for Keelan Giles, he could not connect with Jack Walsh as Ospreys failed to turn the second-half tide.

In contrast, Leinster were clinical with their possession, Tommy O’Brien collecting his own kick through before passing for Osborne to dot down.

Ngatai then broke a tackle to cross from fellow replacement Scott Penny’s pass as the Leinster tries kept coming.

Evardi Boshoff saw yellow late on for a deliberate knock-on to add to the Welsh side’s problems, and Gibson-Park flung the ball wide for Larmour to bring the province past the half-century mark.

Fullback Frawley finished with three successful conversions, including the final one after Tommy O’Brien had chased down Jimmy O’Brien’s kick to get on the scoresheet.

The scores:

For Leinster:
Tries: O’Brien, Molony, Larmour 3, Jenkins, Osborne, Ngatai, T O’Brien
Cons: Byrne 5, Frawley 3

For Ospreys:
Tries: Watkin, Penalty try
Cons: Edwards, Penalty try do not need conversion

Teams

Leinster: 15 Ciarán Frawley, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Jamie Osborne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Caelan Doris (captain), 7 Will Connors, 6 Ryan Baird , 5 Jason Jenkins, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Michael Milne, 18 Thomas Clarkson, 19 Jack Conan, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Charlie Ngatai, 23 Tommy O’Brien.

Ospreys: 15 Max Nagy, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Dan Edwards, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Harri Deaves, 5 Huw Sutton, 4 James Ratti, 3 Rhys Henry, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Jac Morgan, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Jack Walsh, 23 Evardi Boshoff.

Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Keane Davison (Ireland) and Oisin Quinn (Ireland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Ireland)

 

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