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Match Tracker: Leinster 16 Cardiff 9

Match Tracker: Leinster 16 Cardiff 9

Leinster picked up their first win of the Magners League as trial player Michael Berne dotted down the only try at Donnybrook.

…Michael Berne scores for Leinster…

Leinster picked up their first win of the Magners League as trial player Michael Berne dotted down the only try at Donnybrook.

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MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, September 16


Scorers: Leinster: Try: Michael Berne; Con: Felipe Contepomi; Pens: Contepomi 3

Cardiff: Pens: Ben Blair 3

Second Half: Updates to follow

Half-Time: Leinster 10 Cardiff 6

37 mins: Leinster lock Byrnes charges down a clearance kick from Wayne Evans, however from the next play, another Leinster lineout is worryingly lost and Williams gets Cardiff back on the attack. Unfortunately for Ronan, he has an early night as an injury to his left leg sees him banished to the sideline. Ireland international Keith Gleeson comes on

32 mins: Try for Leinster and the pressure has paid off. Australian centre Michael Berne, who is on a trial with the province, gets over in the left corner after multi-phase possession. Scrum half Whitaker did excellently to take a high pass from Ronan and pop the ball, under arm-style, out to the lurking Berne. Contepomi adds a terrific conversion – Leinster 10 Cardiff 6

30 mins: Fitzgerald adds further to his growing reputation as he takes a high kick and steps inside the advancing Chris Czekaj. Wales and Lions flanker Martyn Williams has plundered two turnover balls in the past five minutes

25 mins: Direct from the restart, referee Andy MacPherson spots crossing between Kearney and Niall Ronan. Cardiff’s new full-back Blair steps forward to slot over the penalty from 35 metres out – Leinster 3 Cardiff 6

23 mins: As Leinster attack Cardiff’s right flank, the Welsh region are adjudged to be offside and Contepomi lands his first successful penalty kick of the night from the 22-metre line – Leinster 3 Cardiff 3

21 mins: The Cardiff pack infringe at a ruck and Contepomi steps forward to have a shot at the posts from 45 metres out. However the Argentinian’s effort tails away to the left

18 mins: New Zealand international Ben Blair sends the penalty through the posts from just outside the 22, slightly to the right – Leinster 0 Cardiff 3

17 mins: Aggressive defence from Cardiff, with a Leinster lineout stolen, sees the hosts put under pressure. From a Luveitasau garryowen, Contepomi is ruled to have held onto the ball on the deck. Penalty to the Blues

13 mins: Nick Macleod is releasing his team-mates up through the centre of Leinster’s defence. Mosese Luveitasau and Marc Stcherbina are both prominent, but the latter’s run is halted when Contepomi steals the ball off him in the tackle

9 mins: Leinster get their first sight of the Cardiff try line, with the likes of Finegan and Stephen Keogh picking and driving. Contepomi tries a dinked kick to the left corner, Hickie touches down but was ruled to be ahead of his out-half for the kick

7 mins: Lovely play from young winger Fitzgerald as Chris Whitaker feeds him in midfield and the former Blackrock College schoolboy dances past two Cardiff forwards and hacks upfield. His following up forces a knock on from Chris Czekaj

4 mins: Early lineout problems for Leinster, Harry Vermaas is having trouble trying to find his jumpers – both Owen Finegan and Adam Byrnes have failed to gather in throws at the set piece. One particular instance saw Jamie Heaslip forced to smother the ball just over the hosts’ line after a lineout error

2 mins: Both Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney have early runs. It’s a snappy opening from Leinster with Felipe Contepomi putting the ball deep into Blues’ territory

First Half: Nick Macleod kicks off. A Leinster hand knocks the ball on – scrum to the Welsh, but Leinster defend it well and Denis Hickie sends in a relieving left-footed kick

Team News: Leinster have made two changes to the side that lost 20-14 in Edinburgh for their first competitive home game of the season.

Ireland winger Denis Hickie will make his first start of the Magners League on the left wing, while Australian Adam Byrnes replaces the injured Trevor Hogan (ankle) in the second row.

That is the only change to the pack while Irish internationals Keith Gleeson and Reggie Corrigan have both been named amongst a strong replacements bench.

Cardiff coach David Young has made a massive ten alterations to his side for their trip across the Irish sea. Injuries suffered in the game against the Ospreys have forced Young into making some many switches.

The game provides New Zealander Ben Blair with the opportunity to play his first game for the Blues and another new signing from Canada, Ed Fairhurst, also takes his place on the bench.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Luke Fitzgerald, Kieran Lewis, Michael Berne, Denis Hickie; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Chris Whitaker; Ronan McCormack, Harry Vermaas, Will Green, Adam Byrnes, Owen Finegan, Stephen Keogh, Niall Ronan, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Reggie Corrigan, Bernard Jackman, Devin Toner, Keith Gleeson, Guy Easterby, Christian Warner, Gary Brown.

Cardiff: Ben Blair; Chris Czekaj, Tom Riley, Marc Stcherbina, Mosese Luveitasau; Nick Macleod, Wayne Evans; John Yapp, Gareth Williams, Gary Powell, Bradley Davies, James Goode, Mark Lewis, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush (capt).

Replacements: Taufaao Felise, Ross Johnson, Robert Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Ed Fairhurst, David Flanagan, Tom Shanklin.

Referee: Andy MacPherson (Scotland)
Touch Judges: Colin Stanley, Leo Colgan (both Ireland)