12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
CELTIC LEAGUE: Friday, March 25 Leinster 31 Llanelli Scarlets 25, Lansdowne Road Scorers: Leinster: Try: Denis Hickie; Con: David Holwell; Pens: Holwell 8 Scarlets: Try: Tal Selley; Con: Gareth Bowen; Pens: Bowen 5; Drop gl: Bowen
New Zealander Holwell kicked a handsome 26 points - enjoying a 100% place-kick record, along with the Scarlets' Gareth Bowen - to confirm Leinster's second league success in the space of six days.
And he needed to be on the money as Bowen - the league's second all-time top scorer - kicked the visitors to a 12-9 half-time lead before converting Tal Selley's try late in the second half to tie up the match at 25-25.
Minus rested centre duo Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy - who looks a serious doubt for next Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter final tie with Leicester Tigers - Leinster struggled to find their form in the first half.
A snappy Girvan Dempsey return and Denis Hickie run from a Bowen chip through on 23 minutes was one of few highlights.
Bowen punished lock Leo Cullen for his sixth minute sin-binning - a swinging arm challenge - and went on kick everything in sight, including a 27th-minute drop goal at the Havelock Square end.
Leinster - who included six of the Ireland side who saw action against Wales at the Millennium Stadium last week - wasted little time in gaining a stranglehold on the restart.
From Holwell's initial break, Ciaran Potts drew in one of Wales' Grand Slam heroes Mark Taylor superbly for Hickie to dart in at the left corner on 45 minutes.
Leinster then went 19-12 up before a high tackle from Felipe Contepomi saw Bowen reduce the arrears.
There was still a sting in the Scarlets' tail at 25-15 down however, as a searing 68th-minute break from substitute Steve Thomas saw Selley race on to touch down a Matthew Watkins' chip ahead.
Holwell once more, was on hand to bat away the visitors' attempts of ruining Leinster's six-game unbeaten run at Lansdowne as he kicked two further penalties in the final five minutes to confirm the win.
(15) Girvan Dempsey (14) Denis Hickie (13) Kieran Lewis (12) Felipe Contepomi (11) Gary Brown (10) David Holwell (9) Guy Easterby (1) Reggie Corrigan (Capt) (2) Shane Byrne (3) Ricky Nebbett (4) Leo Cullen (5) Malcolm O'Kelly (6) Ciaran Potts (7) Keith Gleeson (8) Eric Miller
Replacements used: David Quinlan for Hickie (50 mins), Ben Gissing and Victor Costello for Cullen and O'Kelly (both 61), John Lyne for Corrigan (72), Brian O'Meara for Easterby (73), Shane Jennings for Gleeson (74). Not used: David Blaney.
LLANELLI: Barry Davies; Garan Evans, Matthew Watkins, Mark Taylor, Tal Selley; Gareth Bowen, Mike Phillips; Phil John, Robin McBryde, John Davies, Vernon Cooper (Capt), Adam Jones, Chris Wyatt, Gavin Thomas, Andy Powell. Replacements used: Aled Gravelle for McBryde (60 mins), Steve Thomas and Jonathan Mills for Taylor and Wyatt (both 67). Not used: David Maddocks, Bryn Griffiths, Simon Easterby, Dwayne Peel.
Sin-bin: Leo Cullen (Leinster) (6 mins) HT: Leinster 9 Llanelli 12; Attendance: 3,600 Referee: Iain Ramage (Scotland)