Irish worry as O’Driscoll is injured in Leinster romp
Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll suffered an injury scare as Leinster mauled Cardiff Blues 59-22 in a nine-try romp at the RDS.
O’Driscoll was forced off after damaging his left ankle midway through the opening half as the hosts ruthlessly put the match to bed inside the opening 40 minutes when they raced into a 40-3 interval lead.
Leinster had already gone over three times when O’Driscoll was forced off on 19 minutes, although he was able to leave the field unaided to stifle fears ahead of the autumn internationals.
The Irish side hardly missed him, however, as they racked up the quickest bonus point of this season’s RaboDirect Pro12 after just 26 minutes.
Richardt Strauss, Ian Madigan, Jamie Heaslip and David Kearney all touched down to effectively seal the province’s five-point return, and Heaslip and Cian Healy added two more tries before the break.
An abject Cardiff side had only replied through a Leigh Halfpenny penalty and their Wales stars were otherwise anonymous until Alex Cuthbert, Halfpenny and Tom James finished off second-half tries.
But the hosts managed to add three more tries to their tally, with Jordi Murphy and Damian Browne both touching down for the first time in Leinster colours and Fionn Carr added the ninth in the final minute.
Earlier, Ospreys completed a comfortable 26-9 bonus-point victory over Connacht at the Liberty Stadium.
It was the Welsh region’s fourth straight league win, with tries coming from wing Eli Walker, flanker Justin Tipuric, No.8 Jonathan Thomas and scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i. Dan Biggar kicked three conversions.
All Connacht could manage were three penalties from former Scotland stand-off Dan Parks.
In England’s Aviva Premiership England coach Stuart Lancaster was left fretting over Northampton duo Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes after both suffered knee injuries in the Saints’ 16-6 Aviva Premiership defeat by Saracens.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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