Leinster makes statement against Warriors
Pro14 REPORT: Two tries inside five minutes from Cian Kelleher helped Leinster past Glasgow Warriors in a compelling re-run of last year’s Final.
The hosts surged into an early lead thanks to two early scores from Ruaridh Jackson, but wing Kelleher dotted down twice to preserve the champions’ perfect Pro14 record.
It was a precious win at Scotstoun for the Irish province – and a rare one, their first win at the venue since November 2012.
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Warriors, who scored convincing wins over Zebre and Isuzu Southern Kings in Rounds Five and Six, picked up where they left off and grasped the early initiative.
Sam Johnson threaded a grubber kick through to centre partner Hugh Jones who bundled over by Hugo Keenan. The Leinster fullback was adjudged to have interfered and duly sin-binned.
Glasgow immediately cashed in, Jackson crossing in the far corner after a muscling move from the resulting line-out.
Dave Rennie’s men had their tails up and Jackson was in again on 24 minutes, drifting out wide and collecting Ali Price’s spin pass from the base of the ruck for a simple score.
It didn’t take long for Leinster to respond and Conor O’Brien broke the line and offloaded for Kelleher to score in the corner, Ross Byrne levelling it at 10-10 from the tee.
And O’Brien’s power through the middle laid the foundations for another try, Keenan freeing his hands to put Kelleher in the corner once again.
Leinster soaked up the pressure in the second half and extended their lead twice through Byrne’s trusty boot, opening up a ten and then 13-point advantage.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Will Connors underpinned Leinster’s defiant defence, particularly in the second half, that absorbed everything Glasgow had to throw at them.
The flanker crunched into 20 tackles, a constant presence at the breakdown helping to get the better of a Glasgow back row featuring Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson.
PLAY OF THE DAY
There were some fine tries on the night but Fergus McFadden’s try-saving tackle in the dying moments was just as vital.
With Ruaridh Jackson diving, poised to dot down for a hat-trick and what would have been a nervy final few moments for Leinster, McFadden put his body on the line to force a knock-on.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Jackson 2
Tries: Kelleher 2
Cons: Byrne 2
Pens: Byrne 3
Yellow card: Hugo Keenan (Leinster, 3)
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Pete Horne, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson (captain), 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 George Turner, 1 Oli Kebble
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Stafford McDowall, 23 Kyle Steyn
Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Jimmy O’Brien, 12 Conor O’Brien, 11 Cian Kelleher, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Will Connors, 6 Josh Murphy, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Ross Molony (captain), 3 Michael Bent, 2 James Tracy, 1 Peter Dooley
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Oisín Dowling, 20 Scott Penny, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Ciarán Frawley, 23 Fergus McFadden
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: John Mason (Wales)
Report by @Pro14Official