Doubles for Noel Reid and Ed Byrne helped inspire Leinster to a big win over the Isuzu Southern Kings and build their lead at the top of the Conference B table.
Reid struck with the first try of the night and although the Kings replied through Bjorn Basson and Sarel Pretorius, Leinster finished the first half ahead after both Reid and Byrne completed their doubles.
The Kings scored a stunner after the restart through Ulrich Beyers but in a see-saw game Leinster fired back through Barry Daly, Andrew Porter and Max Deegan.
Patrick Patterson and Rory O’Loughlin came off the bench to add Leinster’s eighth and ninth, in a ruthless display from the champions that powers them on towards the Finals Series.
Leinster came flying out of the traps on home turf and got the game’s first try within six minutes, as a spell of pressure eventually saw Reid jink his way through the 22.
Ross Byrne converted but the Kings rallied and went back up the other end of the pitch, with a moment of magic coming out wide as wing Basson showed dazzling feat to get over in the corner.
On the quarter-mark the Kings then stunned the home crowd, piling on the pressure with a series of forward drives on the Leinster line, scrum-half Pretorius wriggling over underneath the powerful bigger men.
This only seemed to awaken the Leinster monster though and they stormed their way upfield just minutes later, with prop Ed Byrne proving unstoppable from three yards out.
The front rower re-gathered his energy and was at it again minutes later, pick-and-go’ing from a yard out and burrowing over for his second of the half.
Leinster led 19-12 and were almost kept quiet for the rest of the half, until slow forward drives suddenly accelerated at pace and Reid darted into the corner for his second.
With the score at 24-12 at the break the Kings signalled their intention with a wonderful try at the beginning of the 40, with fly-half Bader-Werner Pretorius breaking across halfway, taking the hit and feeding Beyers to race away.
In a punch-for-punch match though Leinster soon fired back, fighting their way into the 22 before a lovely offload found full-back Daly for the score.
And so with one prop on the scoresheet you knew the other one wouldn’t want to miss out, Leinster again surging up the pitch and Porter applying the finishing touch – with all 20 stone of him impossible to stop from a yard.
The hosts led 38-19 but continued to pile on the pressure right until the end, with Deegan getting his name on the scoresheet as he picked from a ruck and raced 30 metres to the line.
There was still time for Patterson and O’Loughlin to come on and add their name to the scorers, in a punishing second half from Leinster.
Tries: Noel Reid (2), Ed Byrne (2), Barry Daly, Andrew Porter, Max Deegan, Paddy Patterson, Rory O’Loughlin.
Conversions: Ross Byrne (7).
Tries: Bjorn Basson, Sarel Pretorius, Ulrich Beyers.
Conversions: Bader Pretorius (2).
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|February 22, 2019||21:50||80'|
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