Leinster continued their fine run in the Magners League with a 26-15 win over Scarlets on Friday night.
The win sees the blues move up to second in the league table and it puts a dent in Scarlets prospects of taking the title this season. The home side were first off the mark when Fergis McFadden and Isa Nacewa combined before offloading for Niall Morris to cross over for the five pointer. Sexton added the conversion and the hosts led 7-0.
A penalty from the outhalf made it 10-0 to Leinster but soon after they lost Leo Cullen through injury and this seemed to affect their momentum. They failed to add to their tally for the rest of the half and it was Scarlets,through a Rhys Priestland penalty who completed the scoring for the half. Leinster led 10-3 at the interval.
Sexton pushed Leinster’s advantage back out to ten points when he hit a penalty three minutes into the second half.Minutes later he added yet another three pointer to give his side some breathing space. Leinster attacked from a ’22’ drop-out, with McFadden kicking over the top after the pack collected. Scarlets killed the ball and Sexton made it 19-3 from the resultant penalty.
Rhys Thomas crossed over for a Scarlets try, after some excellent work from Ben Morgan. Priestland added the conversion and the visitors restored some respect to the scoreboard.
Isaax Boss added another try for Leinster when he crossed over from a scrum close to the Scarlets line, after the visitors had been penalised for killing the ball. Again Sexton converted and Leinster had the points secured. Nick Reynolds added a late try for Scarlets, as the visitors continued to battle to the death, but the result was never in any doubt and Leinster took full points.
Leinster – I Nacewa; N Morris, E O’Malley, F McFadden, D Kearney (D Riordan 71); J Sexton, I Boss; H van der Merwe, R Strauss (J Harris-Wright 75), S Wright (S Shawe 64); L Cullen (Capt) (N Hines 28), D Toner; K McLaughlin, D Ryan (P Ryan 75), R Ruddock.
Scarlets – D Newton (D Evans 72); G North, R King, G Maule (capt), J Ajuwa (N Reynolds 51); R Priestland, T Knoyle (G Davies 51); R Jones; R Lawrence (K Myhill 72), R Thomas L Reed, A Shlinger; R McCusker, J Turnbull (J Edwards 57), B Morgan.
Referee – A McPherson (SRU).