Jamie Heaslip crowned his night as Leinster's stand-in captain with a late try as Michael Cheika's men overcame a gritty Glasgow side 38-23 at Donnybrook.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, November 10
LEINSTER 38 GLASGOW WARRIORS 23, Donnybrook
Scorers: Leinster: Tries: Fosi Pala'amo, Brian Blaney, Denis Hickie, Chris Whitaker, Jamie Heaslip; Cons: Rob Kearney, Andrew Dunne; Pens: Kearney 3
Glasgow: Tries: Jon Petrie, Thom Evans, Kevin Tkachuk; Con: Dan Parks; Pens: Parks 2
Leinster edged closer to second spot in the Magners League as they hit Glasgow for five tries in wet conditions at Donnybrook.
Without their Ireland contingent and Argentinian talisman Felipe Contepomi, Leinster still had enough firepower to see off a gritty Warriors side. Samoan prop Fosi Pala'amo and Wallaby scrum half Chris Whitaker both scored their first tries for Leinster as Cheika's side grabbed their 12th straight home win in all competitions.
Denis Hickie, the league's record try scorer, also reminded the Irish management of his finishing ability with his fourth try in seven outings in the competitions.
Glasgow, who have now lost ten times on the trot to the Irish province, took an 18-16 lead into the break with tries from Jon Petrie and Thom Evans, but they could only add a Kevin Tkachuk effort as Leinster dominated the second half.
Fit-again winger Rob Kearney, kicking in the absence of Contepomi, landed a fourth-minute penalty to get Leinster off the mark. The hosts' forwards foraged well in the wet conditions and were rewarded on 12 minutes when the 6ft 10in Devin Toner sucked in a lineout ball and Pala'amo was mauled over.
Kearney missed the conversion and while Dan Parks replied with a penalty, Leinster gained further control in the 28th-minute when Hefin O'Hare fumbled a kick ahead from replacement Andrew Dunne, who was on for Christian Warner, and hooker Brian Blaney dribbled the loose ball forward to touch down.
Dunne struck his conversion attempt wide and against the run of play, Glasgow gained a foothold to take an undeserved lead into the break.
Two errors allowed the Scots in for a quick brace of tries. On 33 minutes, full-back Luke Fitzgerald was caught in possession, and a clever switch by Parks out to the right allowed Petrie squeeze in at the corner.
Parks brilliantly converted and two minutes before the interval, a botched Leinster lineout saw the ball spun out to winger Evans who darted in the left corner, although referee James Jones failed to spot a clear case of obstruction in the lead-up to the score.
Cheika was left fuming, moments later, when a legitimate try for Hickie was ruled out for apparent crossing. Welsh official Jones was winning few admirers but Kearney's injury-time penalty did cut the gap to two points.
A bulldozing run from Pala'amo, two minutes after the restart, scattered enough bodies for Hickie to cross the Scots' whitewash and shunt Leinster back in front.
Sean Lineen's visitors hit back, only three minutes later, when Canadian prop Tkachuk powered over from close range.
However Leinster took charge for the remainder with Kearney kicking a penalty, a flurry of recycles seeing Whitaker scamper through on the hour mark and right on 80 minutes, number eight Heaslip grabbed the fifth try from only metres out after sustained forward pressure.
TIME LINE: 4 minutes - Leinster penalty: Rob Kearney - 3-0; 12 mins - Leinster try: Fosi Pala'amo - 8-0; conversion: missed by Rob Kearney - 8-0; 15 mins - Glasgow penalty: Dan Parks - 8-3; 22 mins - Glasgow penalty: Dan Parks - 8-6; 28 mins - Leinster try: Brian Blaney - 13-6; conversion: missed by Andrew Dunne - 13-6; 33 mins - Glasgow try: Jon Petrie - 13-11; conversion: Dan Parks 13-13; 39 mins - Glasgow try: Thom Evans - 13-16; conversion: missed by Dan Parks - 13-18; 40+5 mins - Leinster penalty: Rob Kearney - 16-18; Half-time - Leinster 16 Glasgow 18; 42 mins - Leinster try: Denis Hickie - 21-18; conversion: missed by Rob Kearney - 21-18; 45 mins - Glasgow try: Kevin Tkachuk - 21-23; conversion: missed by Dan Parks - 21-23; 50 mins - Leinster penalty: Rob Kearney - 24-23; 61 mins - Leinster try: Chris Whitaker - 29-23; conversion: Rob Kearney - 31-23; 80 mins - Leinster try: Jamie Heaslip - 36-23; conversion: Andrew Dunne - 38-23; Full-time - Leinster 38 Glasgow 23
Leinster: Luke Fitzgerald; Rob Kearney, Kieran Lewis, Michael Berne, Denis Hickie; Christian Warner, Chris Whitaker; Ronan McCormack, Brian Blaney, Fosi Pala'amo, Trevor Hogan, Devin Toner, Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip (capt).
Replacements used: Andrew Dunne for Warner (21-31 mins, blood), Reggie Corrigan for McCormack (half-time), McCormack for Pala'amo (57), Dunne for Berne (64), Gary Brown for Kearney (70), Harry Vermaas for Blaney (75), Niall Ronan for Keogh (77), Cillian Willis for Whitaker, Adam Byrnes for Hogan (both 80).
Glasgow: Rory Lamont; Hefin O'Hare, Graeme Morrison, Andrew Henderson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Kevin Tkachuk, Fergus Thomson, Moray Low, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Andrew Wilson, John Barclay, Jon Petrie.
Replacements used: Dan Turner for Kellock (9 mins), Eric Milligan for Thomson (53), Ben Prescott for Low (58), Steve Swindall for Petrie (62), Sam Pinder for Beveridge, Colin Gregor for Parks (both 69). Not used: Scott Barrow.
Referee: James Jones (Wales)