Leinster 29 Ospreys 7
The bonus-point victory was a great deal harder won than it appeared it would be in the opening quarter of the match and for that the Ospreys deserve credit for the manner in which they scrambled defensively, occasionally riding their luck.
Leinster’s victory contained some excellent rugby but there were several instances when they could have made the evening a little more comfortable if they had been less blinkered and narrow in focus and orientation close to the Ospreys’ line.
The result will supersede those concerns in the immediate aftermath. There were some standout individual performances, Cian Healy, a try scorer, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird and the outstanding Scott Penny, another try scorer, the pick of the pack while Ross Byrne brought a calm authority and vision to his team’s better moments in attack.
His younger brother, Harry, got the man of the match honours, in his unaccustomed role at inside centre. Jamie Osborne had some nice touches, and so too Jimmy O’Brien. Jordan Larmour and replacement James Lowe upheld the honour of the backline in the try scoring stakes.
Leinster were forced into a late change with Adam Byrne promoted to the replacements after Rory O’Loughlin took ill, while Andrew Brace took over as referee in the absence of Italian Gianluca Gnecchi.
There was much to admire in Leinster’s enterprise in the first 4src-minutes, albeit that greater attention to detail would have yielded a more lucrative return in points, a dividend they deserved on foot of the performance. As it transpired they had to settle for a 15-src lead.
The home side enjoyed a promising start. A lovely in and out
…. to be continued
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