Leinster run up half-century of points in win over Gloucester
Leo Cullen’s side run in seven tries in pre-season encounter against English side
Leinster’s Isa Nacewa is challenged by Willi Heinz of Gloucester during the pre-season game at Templeville Road. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Leinster 50 Gloucester 14
Leinster were able to hit the half-century mark in an impressive seven-try demolition of Gloucester in their second pre-season hit out at Templeville Road on Friday night.
Leinster were surprisingly slick in their early moments, carving up an out-of-sorts Gloucester defence from the first minute.
It was Scott Fardy’s fine line that did the initial damage for scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park and prop Peter Dooley to act as the links to Isa Nacewa for the first try.
The odds on something of a thrashing shortened when Jordi Murphy, Max Deegan and especially Rob Kearney created the opening for hooker Bryan Byrne to put down for his second pre-season try in two matches for Ross Byrne to convert in the 14th minute.
It was then Gloucester outhalf Owen Williams began to come into the game, mainly through his educated boot.
They were alive to space on the right and Henry Purdy powered through a tackle and Williams made the conversion in the 25th minute.
The finer detail of Leinster’s back play was exploiting gaps and the speed of Gibson-Park allied to good decisions by the Kearney brothers put Deegan in position to hammer home his physical advantage for Ross Byrne to make it 19-7 at the break.
From there, Ireland under-20 Jordan Larmour made a deep impression from his two tries, first stepping inside and then latching onto Cathal Marsh’s chip with lightening pace.
Number eight Deegan was available on the left for his second try and wing Hugo Keenan grabbed the last try late on.
It was a case of the floodgates opening up, thereafter, as Leinster’s gutted Gloucester for four more tries.
They were content to add a Ross Byrne penalty before Larmour pinched the first of his two tries on the hour and Deegan nabbed his second four minutes after.
The English club did momentarily steady the ship when Andy Symons picked up a consolation try before Larmour and wing Keenan completed the rout.
LEINSTER: R Kearney; H Keenan, A Byrne, I Nacewa (capt), D Kearney; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; P Dooley, B Byrne, M Bent; I Nagle, S Fardy; Josh Murphy, Jordi Murphy, M Deegan.
Replacements: J Larmour for R Kearney, F McFadden for Nacewa, B Daly for D Kearney, M Kearney for Nagle, W Connors for Jordi Murphy (all half-time), C Rock for Gibson-Park (49 mins), C Marsh for R Byrne, E Byrne for Dooley , S McNulty for B Byrne, O Dowling for Fardy (all 60 mins), V Abdaladze for Bent, I Fitzpatrick for Daly both (65 mins), O Heffernan for Deegan (72 mins).
GLOUCESTER: D Halaifonua; C Sharples, H Trinder, B Twelvetrees, O Thorley ; O Williams, W Heinz ; J Afoa, H Walker, F Balmain; E Slater, J Thrush; J Polledri, L Ludlow, F Clarke.
Replacements: T Hudson for Halaifonua, H Purdy for Sharples, M Scott for Trinder, M Atkinson for Twelvetrees , A Symons for Thorley, B Burns for Williams, C Braley for Heinz, C Orr for Afoa , J Mullis for Walker, G Denman for Balmain, T Savage for Slater, A Crammond for Thrush, C Beckett for Polledri, W Safe for Ludlow (all half-time), T Denton for Crammond (72 mins).
Referee: D Wilkinson (IRFU).