Leinster 40-14 Edinburgh: Hosts too strong, even with 13 men

Jamie Farndale scored a try for Edinburgh in their defeat by Leinsterin Dublin. Picture: SNS
Jamie Farndale scored a try for Edinburgh in their defeat by Leinsterin Dublin. Picture: SNS
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Edinburgh’s excellent start to their Pro14 campaign came to an abrupt halt in Dublin as champions Leinster eased to a bonus point win at the RDS.

Both sides may have won their opening two games with depleted squads but the depth of talent available to home coach Leo Cullen was obvious as they chalked up their third bonus point win despite having 14 players at the World Cup in Japan.

Edinburgh’s failure to punish Leinster when the champions had two men in the bin in the opening half left them trailing 12-7 at the break.

The visitors had to absorb enormous pressure in the opening quarter, not helped by a struggling lineout.

But three missed kicks by stand-off Ross Byrne limited the damage to 5-0 after half an hour, with Leinster getting a big break when a pass from Dave Kearney bounced favourably off James Lowe’s head for scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park to score. But Edinburgh responded well once they had sorted out their lineout difficulties and they hit the front eight minutes from the break. They opted for a scrum from a penalty in front of the posts and were rewarded, albeit after three penalties and a couple of resets, when scrum-half Nic Groom switched the point of attack for Jamie Farndale to race over.

Leinster, having lost tighthead Michael Bent to a yellow card in one of the scrums, were temporarily reduced to 13 when centre Joe Tomane was binned for sliding into Farndale as he scored. But Edinburgh didn’t make their numerical advantage count and trailed 12-7 at the break when Bent touched down after a penalty to the corner.

Their task became steeper two minutes after the restart when Leinster No 8 Caelan Doris powered through Murray Douglas and Luke Crosbie to score, with Byrne adding the extras to make it 19-7. Leinster turned the screw, with flanker Scott Penny getting the bonus point try.

Academy prop Rowan Osborne also got in on the scoring act as Leinster hammered home their superiority. The only reprieve for Edinburgh came eight minutes from time when replacement scrum-half Charlie Shiel went over from a scrum, with Simon Hickey converting.