Five-star Glasgow stun Leinster at home to reclaim top spot

Leinster 24Glasgow Warriors 39

Daragh Small reports from the RDS

LEINSTER TASTED DEFEAT at home for the first time this season as Glasgow reclaimed top spot in Conference A with a bonus point win at the RDS.

The Kearney brothers, Rob and Dave scored two tries each, but Zander Fagerson’s try secured a bonus point in a brilliant display from the visitors.

Glasgow held an 18-12 lead after playing against the breeze in the first half. Leinster had to fight hard for their tries whereas Glasgow’s wonderful ingenuity with ball in hand unlocked the Leinster defence at will.

But it was still two tries a piece at the break, and Leinster struck first with Dave Kearney’s effort in the 10th minute. Adam Hastings slotted an earlier penalty after Ross Byrne was yellow carded when he tackled Tommy Seymour without the ball.

But Leinster scored with 14 men on the field. They won a penalty in kick-able range and without Ross Byrne on the field, the ball was sent into the corner instead. Leinster honed in on the Glasgow line, and when the forwards made the hard yards Gibson-Park flung a long pass for Dave Kearney to step Stuart Hogg and score.

But Glasgow had been ruthless in the league lately, as evident in their bonus-point win over Ulster last weekend, and their first try came in the 16th minute.

Ali Price broke from inside his own 22 and flicked an audacious off-load to Scottish colleague Sam Johnson who brushed off the Ross Byrne, after his return, and scored. Hastings conversion gave Glasgow a 13-5 advantage.

Leinster came with another wave before half-time and although they were frustrated initially, they got the attack flowing again. Ross Byrne passed to Rob Kearney, and he fumbled the ball over Niko Matawalu’s head only to reclaim and score.

Leinster were 13-12 behind after Ross Byrne’s conversion but Glasgow were finished, and a wonderful pass from Hastings put Seymour in at the right corner.

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien chases Matt Fagerson of Glasgow Warriors. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Seymour missed the conversion but Glasgow were 18-12 in front at the interval. But after replacing their entire front row at half-time Leinster started the second half better.

Byrne sent Rob Kearney over from close range in the 49th minute and Byrne’s touchline conversion was vital for a narrow 19-18 lead.

Leinster got their bonus point try shortly after the hour mark but Ross Byrne missed the conversion.

Glasgow punished them when Matt Fagerson powered over from the back of a rolling maul, and then Zander Fagerson got low to add a fourth Glasgow try, before George Horne’s fifth.

Scorers for Leinster

Tries: Dave Kearney (2), Rob Kearney (2)

Conversions: Joe Tomane 0 / 1, Ross Byrne 2 / 3
Scorers for Glasgow Warriors

Tries: Sam Johnson, Tommy Seymour, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, George Horne.

Penalties: Adam Hastings 2 / 2

Conversions: Adam Hastings 4 / 5

LEINSTER: Rob Kearney (Adam Byrne ’62); Jordan Larmour, Joe Tomane, Robbie Henshaw (Ciarán Frawley ’59), Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park (Hugh O’Sullivan ’74); Ed Byrne (Cian Healy ’40), James Tracy (Seán Cronin ’40), Michael Bent (Tadhg Furlong ’40); Devin Toner, Jack Dunne (Will Connors ’65); Josh Murphy, Seán O’Brien (Max Deegan ’59), Caelan Doris.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson (Pete Horne ’21), Niko Matawalu (Huw Jones ’67); Adam Hastings, Ali Price (George Horne ’67); Jamie Bhatti (Alex Allan ’63), Fraser Brown (Grant Stewart ’76), Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray; Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro (Adam Ashe ’2) (Bruce Flockhart ’63), Matt Fagerson.

Referee: Marius Mitrea [FIR].

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