Home team Away Team

Leinster

  • Penalty, Madigan, Ryan, Cronin,
    Penalty goals: Madigan (2),
    Conversions: Madigan (4),
34 - 20

Cardiff Blues

  • Cuthbert, Allen,
    Penalty goals: Halfpenny (2),
    Conversions: Halfpenny, Patchell,
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 27th Sep 2013
  • KO 19:35
  • Ground: The Greenyards
  • Att: 17,000

RaboDirect PRO12: Leinster claim bonus-point 34-20 win over Cardiff Blues

Last updated: 27th September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Leigh Halfpenny Cardiff Blues

Leigh Halfpenny: Kicked two penalties and a conversion for the visitors

 ODriscoll Brian Leinster

Brian O'Driscoll: Helped point Leinster to victory

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Brian O'Driscoll began his final season of rugby on a winning note as he helped Leinster claim a bonus point 34-20 win against Cardiff Blues at the RDS.

O'Driscoll and Sam Warburton - two men who missed the Lions' series-clinching win over Australia for contrasting reasons - made their seasonal bows in this round four clash.

It was a veritable Lions reunion as seven of the 2013 tour squad were involved, with Jamie Heaslip, another third Test absentee, returning to captain Leinster.

O'Driscoll created the first half's only try for Sean Cronin, Leinster building a 13-6 interval lead with Ian Madigan and Leigh Halfpenny kicking two penalties apiece.

Filo Paulo's 47th-minute yellow card preceded a penalty try for Leinster, however a tremendous solo effort from Alex Cuthbert kept the Welsh region in the hunt.

But Matt O'Connor's men made certain of their first home victory of the campaign thanks to further tries from Dominic Ryan and man-of-the-match Madigan - who finished with 19 points.

Smarting

The visitors were smarting from a surprise home defeat to Zebre and made the early headway in Dublin, with Owen Williams and Cuthbert threatening out wide.

Halfpenny was unable to land a tricky opening kick but his sixth minute penalty - awarded for a shoulder charge by Heaslip on his opposite number Andries Pretorius - had the Blues deservedly ahead.

Rhys Patchell's fine one-handed feed released Williams once more, but Leinster quickly turned defence into attack as their first serious raid downfield produced a try.

Cardiff did well initially to haul down Rob Kearney, only for O'Driscoll superbly-timed flat pass to send hooker Cronin slaloming through for a 13th minute score. Madigan supplied the conversion.

Isaac Boss knocked on near the posts as the province probed for a quick second try, but the scoreline was beefed up by two well-struck penalties from Madigan, a player keen to impress in the number 10 jersey given newcomer Jimmy Gopperth's strong start to the season.

Matthew Rees' hacking on of a loose ball led to a foot race between Harry Robinson and Fergus McFadden with the latter forced to concede a five-metre scrum.

Cardiff kept up the pressure and a subsequent infringement allowed Halfpenny to split the posts for a second time.

Although Cardiff had some decent territory, Leinster showed more cutting edge and penetration when building their attacks and should have added to their tally before the break.

A late O'Driscoll surge through the middle, which delighted the home crowd, created an opening but Rob Kearney was crowded out on the left wing.

Resumption

After the break, Blues lock Paulo paid the price for a needless dive over the top of a ruck. His sin-binning left Cardiff under pressure defending a five-metre scrum and worse followed as they collapsed an advancing Leinster set piece, leading referee Marius Mitrea to award a penalty try which Madigan converted.

The Blues hit back with an early contender for try of the season. Bustling winger Cuthbert beat Rob Kearney on the outside and evaded the grasp of four more defenders from 40 metres out.

Halfpenny's conversion cut the gap to 20-13 before Leinster had a near miss, McFadden being held up in the right corner.

The hosts then turned down a kickable penalty - Devin Toner was held back after blocking a Lloyd Williams kick - and it proved the right decision as flanker Ryan crashed over on the end of a maul.

Madigan converted and then bagged the bonus point for his side, stepping through a gap and barging through Halfpenny's last-ditch challenge to touch down.

Cardiff did manage a late consolation try with replacement Cory Allen intercepting a Jack McGrath pass to score, with Patchell drop-kicking the conversion.

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Guinness PRO12 Table - December 20 2014
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Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Sunday 21st December
Guinness PRO12
16:00Dragons vs Zebre
Friday 26th December
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Dragons
17:00Munster vs Leinster
18:45Ulster vs Connacht
Saturday 27th December
14:40Glasgow vs Edinburgh
17:15Ospreys vs Scarlets
Sunday 28th December
14:00Zebre vs Treviso
Thursday 1st January
14:05Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues
17:00Connacht vs Munster
Friday 2nd January
19:35Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Treviso vs Zebre
14:40Leinster vs Ulster
17:05Scarlets vs Ospreys
Friday 9th January
19:35Connacht vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Scarlets
Saturday 10th January
14:40Cardiff Blues vs Leinster
15:00Zebre vs Munster
Sunday 11th January
14:00Treviso vs Ulster
16:00Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Wednesday 14th January
TBCLeinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCScarlets vs Connacht
TBCEdinburgh vs Ospreys
TBCUlster vs Benetton Treviso
TBCZebre vs Glasgow
TBCMunster vs Cardiff Blues

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