Leinster continued their perfect start to the Pro 14 and claimed a 36-12 win over Cheetahs at a wet and windy RDS. The catalyst for the win was a superb first half. Ronan Kelleher, Will Connors and Michael Bent all going over the line to give Leinster a 22-0 lead at the break.
Leinster were battling into the the elements in the opening half. However, they managed to keep the ball in hand and rack up 82% possession in the opening half. Fergus McFadden and Joe Tomane made some good yards with runs. The Cheetahs gave away a series of penalties. Max Deegan broke from a maul on the 20th minute mark before Will Connors touched down after breaking away from a couple of Cheetahs tackles. Ciaran Frawley added the extra points from conversion.
Max Deegan was also pivotal in the second try. He broke after a good pass from Frawley. Kelleher was stopped short of the line, but Michael Bent was on hand to go over from close range. Kelleher got a try of his own just before the break. He first won a penalty after a good turnover. The maul then from that penalty saw Kelleher pouncing for a try. Frawley’s conversion went wide of the posts.
On the resumption Luke McGrath quick thinking launched another Leinster attack. Rhys Ruddock, going over from close range with Ross Molony assisting him. Man of the match Connors got his second try of the day when Molony gathered possession from a lineout, before a drive to the line. Connors broke free and touched down. This time Frawley’s conversion was successful.
Cheetahs began to come into the game more from here. However, they were a beaten ticket and Leinster probably knew that. Their front row in the scrum were on top though. They forced a few penalties and obviously one to many as Sean Cronin was sin-binned due to a no arms tackle. Rhyno Smith probably should have had a try but he was denied by a determined Leinster defence. The South African side finally got on the scoreboard with a try from De Bruin, Ruan Pienaar added the conversion. Benhard Janse Van Rensburg was then sent to the sin bin after a poor sliding challenge on Fergus McFadden. Davis got the second try of the day after some good build up play. It was too little to late though as Leinster claim a 36-12 win over the Cheetahs.
Speaking after the game Leo Cullen said of the performance, “To get five tries in those conditions is very, very pleasing”. He continued, “The first half you couldn’t have asked for much more from the players”.
“To get five tries in those conditions is very, very pleasing.” 💪
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) February 15, 2020