Leinster needed stand-in skipper Felipe Contepomi to be in top goal-kicking form on Saturday as they edged Glasgow Warriors 26-21 at Donnybrook.
CELTIC LEAGUE: Saturday, September 10
Leinster 26 Glasgow Warriors 21, Donnybrook (Att: 3,500)
Scorers: Leinster: Tries: Rob Kearney, Kieran Lewis; Cons: Felipe Contepomi 2; Pens: Contepomi 4
Glasgow: Tries: Craig Hamilton, Rory Lamont; Con: Dan Parks; Pens: Parks 2; Drop: Parks
Whereas Argentinean centre Contepomi missed out on being the match-winner last weekend in Swansea, he confidently assumed the role on Saturday as his haul of four penalties and two conversions was largely the difference between the two sides.
Contepomi added the extras to tries for Rob Kearney - scoring his second in six days - and Ireland hopeful Kieran Lewis early in the second half to send Michael Cheika's side on their way to their sixth straight win over the gallant Warriors.
Leinster's first competitive outing at Donnybrook looked a long way off being a successful one after a poor turnover allowed 6ft 8in Scotland lock Craig Hamilton stretch over for a ninth-minute try, which Dan Parks converted. Some early lineout problems pock-marked the home side's display, but gradually they found their rhythm.
Ireland Under-19 captain Kearney missed an immediate chance to reply but Contepomi landed two penalty hits to reduce the gap to 7-6.
Unfortunately for the Puma centre, Leinster's pack offered Parks a quick chance to reply from the restart. Two more successes from the boot of the Glasgow number 10, sandwiching Contepomi's third penalty, saw the visitors 13-9 in front at the break. But coach Hugh Campbell knew it should have been more.
Campbell said: "On the balance of things we should have been way ahead rather than just 13-9 in front at half-time. The period straight after half time was crucial and their points came from our mistakes which put them in the driving seat."
And so it proved - Leinster found their rhythm in the early part of the second half. Four minutes in, and teenage winger Kearney skated over past a dithering Colin Shaw as Cheika's men suddenly clicked into gear.
Centre Lewis, who was stoic in defence all evening, burst through the Glasgow cover ten minutes later for a sizzling score which saw him put on the after burners to glide in behind the posts and score.
A nice fillip for the 25-year-old Lewis with Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan watching on from the stand.
Contepomi's kick made it 23-13 and although Lamont then touched down, Glasgow could only manage a further Parks penalty, which was matched by Contepomi. The hard-fought victory sees Leinster stationed in sixth after the second weekend of Celtic League action.
LEINSTER: Girvan Dempsey; Gary Brown, Kieran Lewis, Felipe Contepomi (Capt), Rob Kearney (Brendan Burke 82); Christian Warner, Guy Easterby (Brian O'Meara 20-27); John Lyne (Emmett Byrne 63), Brendan Jackman (David Blaney 63), Will Green, Adam Byrnes, Ben Gissing, Ciaran Potts, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip.
GLASGOW: Colin Shaw (Graeme Morrison 63); Rory Lamont, Andy Craig, Scott Barrow, Mike Roberts; Dan Parks (Capt), Sam Pinder (Graeme Beveridge 59); Euan Murray, Scott Lawson (Fergus Thompson 70), Lee Harrison, Tim Barker (Dan Turner 59), Craig Hamilton, Steve Swindall, Andrew Wilson (John Barclay 72), Paul Dearlove.
Referee: Phil Fear (Wales)