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- Guinness PRO12
- 9th Sep 2011
- KO 19:35
- Ground: The Greenyards
- Att: 14,362
Leinster off the mark
Irish province win first league game of the season in comfortable style
Leinster got off the mark in this season's RaboDirect PRO12 with a comfortable 31-10 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons at the RDS Arena.
Isa Nacewa kicked two penalties to one from Jason Tovey as Joe Schmidt's men, who looked the more threatening side in the first half, took a 6-3 lead into the break.
The hosts extended their lead early in the second half courtesy of superb tries from Brendan Macken and Ian Madigan.
Tovey then touched down for the visitors, but Fionn Carr raided through for a 77th-minute try and man-of-the-match Nacewa took his kicking haul to 16 points to seal a deserved triumph.
Leinster got off to a sprightly start, Carr and David Kearney running hard at the Dragons' defence before Nacewa clipped over a sixth-minute penalty.
The influence of the Dragons back row grew, with Hugo Ellis and Gavin Thomas ever-willing carriers, and Tovey landed a right-sided penalty to level the scores.
A dazzling run from Carr on the half-hour mark set Leinster on the move again and Kearney was inches away from crossing the try-line. A determined last-ditch challenge from Martyn Thomas denied him, although another Nacewa penalty soon edged Leinster ahead again.
Some good ball retention got the Dragons back to the Leinster 22 but Joe Bedford opted to tap a kickable penalty and the Welshmen were offside in the next phase.
A classy counter-attack from Carr saw him light up the early stages of the second half. He blasted past Gavin Thomas and tore into the Dragons' half before passing for Macken to cover the final 25 metres into the left corner.
Another long-range surge then nabbed a second try for Leinster. This time it was a piece of individual brilliance from out-half Madigan as he broke over halfway, got away from Steffan Jones and grounded the ball despite the best efforts of Mike Poole.
Nacewa converted the second of the tries and added a penalty approaching the hour mark to leave the Dragons 21-3 adrift, but Darren Edwards' side showed resilience with a slick counter down the left which saw Pat Leach break away and pass for the supporting Tovey to go in behind the posts.
Tovey added the extras but Leinster kept on course with another precise penalty from Nacewa.
The yellow card for Dragons captain Tom Willis, who was offside and interfering at a ruck, looked to be the final noteworthy act until Carr's deserved score.
Ryan held up the ball well having gathered a kick and replacement Leo Auva'a romped into open territory before finding Carr, who evaded a final challenge on a strong run to the line.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com