Glasgow go above Munster after five-try win against Leinster at RDS
Scottish side will top Conference A if they can beat Edinburgh at home in final round
Leinster’s Rob Kearney on his way to scoring their second try against Glasgow Warriors during the Guinness Pro 14 game at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Glasgow deserved their win in the RDS on Saturday afternoon, although Munster may not be too happy with the outcome. Nothing changes there.
Again a Leinster side shorn of many of their frontline players faced a focused Glasgow group that were in greater need than the already qualified Leinster.
In that Glasgow were good for their bonus-point win that puts them three points ahead of Munster at the top of Conference A.
Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner both played with no reactions. It was the duo’s first outing since Ireland lost to England in the Six Nations.
A home semi-final beckons if Glasgow can stand tough against Edinburgh at home on the weekend after next as Munster go into a derby match against Connacht with a home semi-final for the team that tops the Conference.
Five tries from Glasgow outscored Leinster’s four, two from winger Dave Kearney and two from his brother, fullback Rob, his first scores for Leinster since 2016.
The match swung along with Glasgow opening with a penalty before Dave Kearney stepped Stuart Hogg for Leinster’s first score on 10 minutes. Centre Sam Johnson’s try took Glasgow into a 13-5 lead on 16 minutes before Ross Byrne hit Rob Kearney on the thigh bursting through. But the fullback caught the ball and dotted down with Byrne, who shipped an early yellow card, converting to leave just a point between the sides.
Facing into a stiff wind, Leinster picked up their tempo with a full frontrow change, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong and Seán Cronin all coming in. Furlong would only stay on for 24 minutes before Michael Bent returned, the Leinster coaching staff deciding to take Furlong off as a precaution after he took a knock to a knee.
After multiple phases Rob Kearney again burst onto a Byrne short pass to put Leinster 19-18 ahead.
Dave extended it on 61 minutes after Jordan Larmour had bamboozled Glasgow with some cut backs and darts. Kearney was on the end of it and he somehow found space from close in on the right for his second, Byrne’s conversion giving Leinster a 24-18 lead with 19 minutes remaining.
Five minutes later Glasgow were good for their attacking lineout inside the Leinster 22 and with the ball safely secured got their mauling rolling forward, Matt Fagerson dotting down and Hastings adding the conversion to put his side 25-24 ahead.
Zander Fagerson got over eight minutes later after his stretching arm made the score after Glasgow pounded the Leinster line, replacement scrumhalf George Horne adding another in added time to seal things.
SCORING SEQUENCE – 4 mins: A Hastings pen 0-3; 9: R Kearney 5-3; 14: Hastings pen 5-6; 16: Johnson try, Hastings con 5-13; 37: R Kearney try, Byrne con 12-13; 39: Seymour try 12-18. Halftime. 49: R Kearney try, Byrne con 19-18; 61: D Kearney try 24-18; 66: M Fagerson try, Hastings con 24-25; 73: Z Fagerson try, Hastings con 24-32; 82: G Horne try, Hastings con 24-39.
Replacements: C Healy for E Byrne, S Cronin for J Tracy, T Furlong for Bent (all h/t); C Frawley for Henshaw, M Deegan for O’Brien (both 59); A Byrne for R Kearney (62); Bent for Furlong, H O’Sullivan for Gibson-Park (both 64), W Connors for Dunne (74).
Referee: M Mitrea (Italy).