Leinster Rugby vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 22/09/2012 - 18:15

Edinburgh Rugby picked up a losing bonus point with a spirited display against European champions Leinster at the RDS tonight (22-16).

In what was a fantastic match for the neutral, both sides tested their opponent’s defence to the maximum, with dynamic and patient attacking rugby, and aggressive defence from the outset.

Unfortunately for Edinburgh, the scores conceded with two men in the sin bin were enough to see the hosts edge to victory, despite a relentless comeback from Bradley's men.

The game was preceded by a minute's silence for Nevin Spence and his brother Graham and father Noel who passed away in a tragic farming accident last Saturday.

When the game got underway it was Joe Schmidt's team that made the faster start and they took the lead after just eight minutes through stand-off Sexton who finished off a break from Ireland prop Cian Healy.

Sexton then added the conversion and a penalty five minutes later to send Leinster into a 10-0 lead before Laidlaw responded with  a pair of penalities to reel in their hosts after half and hour (10-6).

With a strong finish to the half under their belts, Edinburgh returned to the field in a confident mood but, if the 17,000 strong crowd was not enough to battle, they were handed a double helping of difficulty, when prop John Yapp and lock Sean Cox picked up consecutive yellow cards at the breakdown.

Huge credit is due to the Edinburgh Rugby resilience to thwart the waves of Leinster attack that followed before the inevitable gaps ultimately appeared out wide, twice allowing Brendan Macken to score at the corner flag, either side of a Greig Laidlaw penalty (22-9).

Despite the deficit, the visitors were clearly taking confidence from their performance with men down and soon clawed a score back after being restored to a full complement; Willem Nel getting his first for the club with a bulldoze from the five metre line after some barnstorming work from Nick De Luca, Stuart McInally and Grant Gilchrist.

Laidlaw added the extras and, with ten to go, steered Edinburgh's dangerous and hungry attack as they went for  more than the bonus point, however their tireless efforts proved to be in vain as the whistle signaled the end of an enthralling match.

FULL-TIME: 22-16

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa; 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy
11 Fionn Carr; 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 1 Cian Healy, 2:Sean Cronin, 3 Mike Ross, 4 Leo Cullen CAPTAIN, 5 Tom Denton, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 7 Shane Jennings, 8 Jamie Heaslip
Substitutes: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Brendan Macken

Edinburgh Rugby: 15 Greig Tonks; 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tom Brown; 10 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN, 9 Richie Rees ;1 John Yapp, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Geoff Cross, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Sean Cox, 6 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant, 8 Netani Talei
Substitutes: 16 Andy Titterrell on for Ford, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Willem Nel on for Cross, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Dimitri Basilaia on for Talei, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Dougie Fife

Team lineups

Leinster Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby