Leinster win Pool as Ospreys see red

Leinster won their Heineken Cup pool when they beat the Ospreys 24-3 after the Welsh side lost Ian Evans with a red card.

Wales lock Ian Evans is now in danger of missing the Six Nations after he was sent off for alleged stampingt.

Television replays showed Leinster’s Ireland lock Mike McCarthy being stamped on by Evans and he was shown a straight red card.

The Ospreys discipline cost them dearly in the clash as match referee awarded Leinster two penalty tries and they also scored another three of their own.

Leinster looked like they were in for a battle royale with their Celtic League
rivals until Welsh lock Ian Evans was sent off for stamping on 20 minutes.

Although the Welsh region initially held out bravely, they soon crumbled as
Leinster made the extra man count.

Two penalty tries and scores from Cian Healey, Jordi Murphy and Isaac Boss
ensured Leinster took the bonus point that preserved their slim hopes of securing
a home quarter-final tie, although that would depend on a couple of group winners
slipping up this weekend.

The three-time winners became the seventh team to secure their quarter-final
berth with just one runners-up wild card slot still to be decided.

On an evening of good news for the Irish, South African-born hooker Richardt
Strauss made his return to action just three months after undergoing an operation
on a heart defect that was originally thought to have ended his season.

Fly-half Jimmy Gopperth, who ended the game with 11 points, kicked a penalty
on nine minutes before Dan Biggar equalised for the visitors four minutes later.

It looked like developing into a tight contest until Evans was caught stamping
on Mike McCarthy’s head in a driving maul.

McCarthy had to be taken off after the incident while the video umpire was
summoned to help referee Romain Poite identify the culprit and send him off.

It took 13 minutes for Leinster to make the extra man count and when they did
it was an unstoppable driving maul which Ospreys collapsed just short of their
line, leading Poite to run under the posts and award the penalty try.

The Irish province almost had a second try after prop Martin Moore’s initial
barnstorming break before offloading to Gopperth.

The New Zealander got over the line as he was tackled by two Ospreys players
but as he tried to ground the ball, a Welsh foot blocked him and forced the
fly-half to knock on.

It was a brilliant piece of defending but just three minutes later Leinster’s
pack pushed up to Ospreys line and Healey drove over from close range.

Leinster should have had a try 10 minutes into the second period but Dave Kearney
knocked on barely a metre from the line.

The second penalty try came on 62 minutes as Leinster shoved Ospreys back over
their own line from a five-metre scrum, only for scrum-half Rhys Webb deliberately
going offside to stop Jamie Heaslip touching down.

A few minutes later scrum-half Eoin Reddan knocked on under pressure from Matthew
Morgan as he went over the line looking for the bonus point try.

But the bonus came eight minutes from time as Spanish-born Murphy hit a perfect
line to barge over.

The floodgates opened as Boss popped up on Luke Fitzgerald’s shoulder to take
a pass and run in, although Gopperth missed his first conversion attempt of
the night.

Final Score Leinster 36 (17) Ospreys 3 (3)

Scorers

Leinster
Tries – Penalty (2), Healy, Murphy, Boss
Pen -Gopperth
Con – Gopperth (4)
Drop –

Ospreys
Tries –
Pen – Biggar
Con –
Drop –

Match Officia

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