DUBLIN has not been a happy hunting ground for Glasgow over the years and that didn’t change last night despite the Warriors leading for most of the game.
But this clash between the champions of the past two years turned in Leinster’s favour largely due to two yellow cards picked up by the holders.
Glasgow could feel hard done by that big winger Taqele Naiyaravoro was pinged for deliberately knocking the ball out with his hand as he chased to his own line with Leinster’s Fergus McFadden.
At the time Glasgow were five points ahead with just over ten minutes remaining but referee Ian Davies binned the Warrior and awarded a penalty try.
McFadden converted to put Leinster ahead for the first time and he sealed the win with his third penalty in the closing stages.
It was a poor outcome for a Glasgow side who did enough to win the game but in the end fell to their third defeat of the campaign.
Gregor Townsend was boosted by the return of six internationals from the World Cup and while Leinster defended well initially, the pressure finally yielded a try from tighthead Zander Fagerson after 14 minutes when the Scottish under-20 internationalist squeezed over.
Duncan Weir added the extras but Leinster hit back almost immediately and reduced the gap when McFadden landed a penalty from 35 metres on the right to make it 7-3 before adding a second shortly afterwards.
Glasgow took over from there and Weir extended their lead with a good penalty from 43 metres on the right and made it 13-6 with a penalty from 35 metres on the left.
Glasgow’s hopes of only their third win in the last 11 contests between the sides suffered a blow just before the break when hooker Pat MacArthur was binned for a reckless tackle on his counterpart Aaron Dundon when he caught him high.
Leinster made the most of their extra man three minutes after the restart when they went to the corner with a penalty.
Glasgow dealt with the initial forays by Leinster but with Ben Te’o instrumental, they found a way through when scrum-half Luke McGrath sniped over. McFadden added the conversion to tie the game.
But the Glasgow response to the concession of the try was impressive. Once again they displayed great patience and built phase after phase inside the Leinster 22 and in the end got over when former Wartah Naiyaravoro used all his huge frame to burst through three tackles to score.
Weir was unable to add the conversion as Glasgow led 18-13 just as they were about to be restored to 15 men with the return of MacArthur from the bin.
But Naiyaravoro’s binning and the penalty try turned the game Leinster’s way as they secured their third win of the campaign against a Glasgow side who will be kicking themselves for letting this one slip from their grasp.
They will now look to regroup and get the defence of their title back on track after another disappointing visit to Dublin where so much hard work was undone by the yellow cards suffered towards the end of each half on a night when Leinster rarely looked like cracking them open out wide.
LEINSTER: I Nacewa (C Kelleher 75); G Ringrose, B Te’o, N Reid, F McFadden; C Marsh, L McGrath (I Boss 58); M Bent (P Dooley 50), A Dundon (J Tracy 40+3), M Moore (T Furlong 50); R Molony, M McCarthy; R Ruddock (D Ryan 70), J van der Flier, J Conan.
GLASGOW: S Lamont; T Naiyaravoro, R Vernon, F Lyle, R Hughes; D Weir, M Blair (G Hart 69); A Allan (J Yanuyanutawa 68), P MacArthur (K Bryce 58), Z Fagerson (M Cusack 58); T Swinson (A Ashe 28), S Cummings (G Peterson 71); R Harley, S Favaro (H Blake 50), R Wilson.