Leinster swept into the the final of the Celtic League with a 35-13 victory over Glasgow at Lansdowne Road. They now wait to see who comes out of
Leinster swept into the the final of the Celtic League with a 35-13 victory over Glasgow at Lansdowne Road. They now wait to see who comes out of the game between Ulster and Munster at Lansdowne Road, for next Saturday’s final.
It was Leinster’s ability to defend within their own comfort zone, to attack the gain-line at speed and to score tries at crucial stages that gave them this fully deserved victory.
In the opening half they had to withstand some early pressure but when they mounted their first serious attack it yielded a try (8th min) for Girvan Dempsey which Nathan Spooner converted from the touchline.
Five minutes later Victor Costello made a superb burst up the centre and when the ball was swept wide Brian O’Driscoll was on hand to score wide on the right.
Glasgow’s classy out-half Tommy Hayes kicked a 17th minute penalty which Spooner equalised in the 3oth minute and after Hayes had seen his 30 metre effort come back off an upright, Brian O’Meara tapped over a simple penalty to leave the home side fifteen points (18-3) to the good at half time.
Hayes reduced the deficit with an early second half penalty but then an extraordinary score settled the match. Denis Hickie instigated the move with a cross field run. The ball was spun to Shane Horgan who seemed to lose control but somehow managed to regain the ball from behind his back and he scooted in under the posts to leave Spooner with the easiest of conversions. At 25-6, Leinster were never going to lose control although Glasgow weren’t quite ready to give up the fight. They came back for a try under the posts from Michael Bartlett but Leinster took themselves back downfield for their fourth try, scored this time by Denis Hickie. And Spooner’s conversion went over off an upright to leave his side in a commanding 32-13 lead. That was a tap over but minutes later Spooner landed a penalty from forty metres to end the scoring.
Leinster. Girvan Dempsey (Peter McKenna; Denis Hickie, Brian O’Driscoll (Adam Magro 77 min), Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy; Nathan Spooner (Ben Willis 75 min), Brian O’Meara; Reg Corrigan, Shane Byrne, Paul Wallace (Peter Coyle 63 min)); Malcolm O’Kelly, Leo Cullen (Bob Casey 60 min), Eric Miller (Trevor Brennan), Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello (Trevor Brennan 53 min, temp).