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Leinster stay alive in Heineken Cup with Scarlets win


Leinster's title defence is still alive

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Article Published: Saturday 12 January 2013


Heineken Cup champions Leinster kept their hopes of defending their title alive by beating the Scarlets 33-14 at the RDS.

The result moves Leinster into the last place of Quarter final qualified teams however if Munster win on Sunday and win with a bonus point they would move above Leinster.

Prop Cian Healy, flanker Shane Jennings, wing Luke Fitzgerald, full-back Rob Kearney and replacement Ian Madigan crossed for Leinster's tries as they bounced back from successive defeats to Clermont Auvergne in December.

But, with pool leaders Clermont having secured a quarter-final place with their win over Exeter Chiefs in France, Leinster - who have won three out of the last four Heineken Cup finals - still face the prospect of being knocked out at the pool stages of the tournament for the first time since 2008.

The triple champions still have to come away with all the points on offer when they travel to face Exeter in their last Pool 5 game next weekend to give themselves a chance of a best runners-up place.

The Scarlets, who had nothing to play for but pride, have still to win in this season's Heineken cup and slumped to their seventh defeat in eight games in all competitions at the RDS.

Fly-half Aled Thomas slotted an early penalty for the Scarlets to give them a three-point lead before Leinster's Irish international prop Healy burrowed over from short-range to secure a lead his side would never surrender.

Sexton added the conversion before the Scarlets full-back Liam Williams landed a speculative drop goal from long range to make it 7-6 to the home side midway through the first half.

But it wasn't long before Leinster crossed for their second try when openside Jennings barged his way over from the back of a driving maul after a well-worked lineout on the Scarlets line to make it 12-6.

Fitzgerald claimed Leinster's third try before Scarlets centre Scott Williams' cross-kick found his full-back and namesake, Liam, for a try that made it 19-11 at half-time.

Kearney's try just after half-time secured the vital bonus point before replacement fly-half Ian Madigan crossed for Leinster's fifth try to put a gloss on the win late on.

Luke Fitzgerald was named Heineken Cup man of the match

Final Score Leinster 33 (19) Scarlets 14 (11)

Scorers

Leinster
Tries: Healy, Jennings, Fitzgerald, Kearney, Madigan
Conversions: Sexton 3, Madigan

Scarlets  
Tries: Williams
Penalties: Thomas 2
Drop-goals: Williams

Match Officials
Referee
: Jerome Garces (Fra),
Assistant ref: Sebastian Cloute (Fra),
Assistant ref: Alexandre Ruiz (Fra),
TMO: Jean-Claude Levrier (Fra),
Citing Commisioner: Francois Guers (Fra)

Teams

Leinster Rugby: Rob Kearney; Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (c), Devin Toner, Sean O'Brien, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Heinke Van der Merwe, Michael Bent, Tom Denton, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Brian O'Driscoll.

Scarlets: Liam Williams; Andrew Fenby, Gareth Maule, Scott Williams, Kristian Phillips; Aled Thomas, Tavis Knoyle; Phil John, Ken Owens, Jacobie Adriaanse, George Earle, Richard Kelly, Rob McCusker (c), Josh Turnbull, Kieran Murphy.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Rhodri Jones, Samson Lee, Johan Snyman, Sione Timani, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Adam Warren

With thanks to ERCRugby.

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