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RaboDirect Pro12: Leinster defeated Cardiff 26-11
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Leinster consolidated their position in the RaboDirect Pro12 play-off places with a 26-11 victory over Cardiff Blues.
Cardiff had been enjoying a home revival of late but the game was effectively over as a contest by half-time and a brave fightback after the break was never going to be enough.
Ian Madigan kicked the visitors into an early lead but opposite number Rhys Patchell cancelled it out in the 13th minute, although he did then miss a long-range effort to put the Blues in front.
Leinster lock Tom Denton was sin-binned following an off-the-ball incident and they were still a man short when Madigan put them back in front with a kick that hit both post and crossbar.
Blues then infringed after a Jason Tovey fumble to allow Madigan to extend the lead and Leinster emphasised their superiority with a try from scrum-half Isaac Boss, who squeezed over from a ruck four minutes before the break.
There was still time for the Irish to cross again though, wing Harry Robinson ruled that he had taken the ball back over his own try-line and from the resulting scrum, number eight Jordi Murphy dived over.
Madigan's conversion gave his side a 20-point lead at the turnaround but Cardiff came out blazing with number eight Robin Copeland making ground into the opposing 22, but the backs were kept at bay.
However, the try came on 50 minutes with Tovey sneaking in at the corner, although Patchell's conversion attempt embarrassingly never left the ground.
The young stand-off did add three points before the hour when Leinster were caught offside, and a Patchell burst briefly raised home hopes only for play to be called back.
Madigan stroked over a penalty on a rare visit to home territory 10 minutes from time and the visitors re-established control as the game petered out, without threatening a bonus point.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|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|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
|Friday 31st October|
|Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht|
|Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso|
|Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com