Leinster 55-19 Glasgow: Blues rout Warriors to top Champions Cup pool
Last Updated: 14/01/18 6:21pm
Leinster completed an eight-try 55-19 demolition of Glasgow in Dublin to secure a home Champions Cup quarter-final.
The Blues took just 34 minutes to return a bonus point en-route to their destruction of a depleted Glasgow Warriors' side at the RDS Arena.
Leinster scored five tries before half-time through Jordi Murphy, Sean Cronin, Isa Nacewa, Scott Fardy and Johnny Sexton, with Nacewa and Fardy adding further second-half scores in addition to a try by James Lowe.
Trailing 34-7 at the break and without the likes of Finn Russell, Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg, bottom-placed Glasgow could only salvage some pride with second-half scores from Adam Ashe and the impressive Niko Matawalu - his second of the game.
Having guaranteed top spot in Pool 3, Leinster will close out the group stages away to Montpellier next
Warriors played with plenty of spark early on with Lee Jones threatening out wide and Nick Grigg also prominent.
But Leinster's first visit to their 22 resulted in a seventh-minute try created by man-of-the-match Luke McGrath's beautifully-weighted pass that released Murphy under the posts.
Glasgow then capitalised on Murphy's sin-binning for not being back 10 metres as Ali Price threatened to score from a tap penalty. That try arrived in the 16th minute with Matawalu sidestepping two defenders to cross and Peter Horne converting to bring Glasgow level.
It was brief, because Nacewa capitalised on a Sexton pass to neatly unlock the Glasgow defence soon after, his converted try, quickly followed by a Sexton penalty goal, left Leinster leading 17-7.
After a maul had sucked in defenders, Cronin bounced up off the deck to reach over and touch down on the half-hour mark. Then, Leinster ran back a loose Glasgow kick and Jordan Larmour freed up Lowe out wide before Sexton was tackled short and Fardy dived over unopposed in the left corner.
Fardy and Lowe created Leinster's fifth and final try before the interval, with the latter putting Sexton over in the corner.
Robbie Henshaw had a try ruled out on the restart as sufficient advantage had not been played for Glasgow, before Fijian flyer Matawalu went on the prowl for another try-of-the-season contender from deep.
A 56th-minute maul set-up, and McGrath's well-timed pass, released Nacewa to complete his brace from close range.
Ross Byrne, on for Sexton, converted. But a free-flowing Glasgow attack, with Jackson and Matawalu to the fore, ended with No 8 Ashe touching down in the 61st minute.
Lowe crashed over from a Nacewa pass to open his Champions Cup account, although Leinster were sloppy at times as the game grew increasingly loose.
And then Lowe erred when shooting out of defence and he allowed Matawalu enough space to dive over in the right corner. Fittingly, it was workhorse Fardy who had the final say in the 77th minute, crossing from a dominant maul with Byrne tagging on his third conversion.