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Leinster Rugby (11) 23 - 52 (16) Llanelli Scarlets
Royal Dublin Showgrounds
Att: 9,439
Friday, 05 October 2007, 19:10

This Magners encounter produced a first. It was the first time a Magners league match had been officiated by a non-neutral referee. In the era of professional rugby this is a truly staggering occurrence.

By the time the final whistle had blown there was another first, Scarlets had won against Leinster for the first time in Dublin in the Magners League. It was hard to argue against their value for the win.

Leinster as is so often their wont, started slowly, Matthew Watkins crossing the whitewash and Priestland adding the extras. Leinster responded immediately through Christian Warner after excellent work through the hands of Willis and Sexton.

Sexton missed the extra points and while Priestland was enjoying a rare run out in the first team adding three more first half penalties, Sexton had a mixed night in front of goal scoring just two of five efforts in the first half.

As a tight first half drew to a close Leinster were thrown an advantage with the sin binning of Vernon Cooper. Instead of capitalising on this numerical advantage in the second half, Leinster capitulated in a staggering fashion, shipping four tries in ten mindless minutes. Bater, Edwards with two and Regan King waltzed unburdened through the Leinster defence with barely a tackle to worry about. Two yellows for Leinster didn't help. Kearney infringed at a ruck and Shane Jennings followed, his backchat although unprofessional was surely borne of frustration at the referee's bizarre interpretation of the offside law.

The endless tide of Scarlet pressure was mirrored by the flow of many of those watching for the exits. Those who remained saw a revival of sorts from Leinster. Applying more pressure on the Scarlets line Leinster scored two tries through Stanley Wright and Jamie Heaslip and when Bater saw yellow, Leinster sensed a bonus point consolation was in the offing.  It was not to be however, and in the seemingly interminable stoppage time Llanelli scored their sixth try of the evening and ended a curious night at the RDS.

Match Stats
  Leinster Rugby   Llanelli Scarlets
Tries Christian Warner
Jamie Heaslip
Stan Wright
  Morgan Stoddart
Regan King
Matthew Watkins
James Bater
Jonathan Edwards (2)
Conversions Sexton   Priestland (5)
Penalties Sexton (2)   Priestland (4)
Teams Rob Kearney 15 Morgan Stoddart
Gary Brown 14 Garan Evans
Fergus McFadden 13 Regan King
Christian Warner 12 Gavin Evans
Luke Fitzgerald 11 Matthew Watkins
Jonathan Sexton 10 Rhys Priestland
Cillian Willis 9 Liam Davies
Juan Francisco-Gomez 1 Phil John
Bernard Jackman 2 James Hayter
Stephen Knoop 3 Deacon Manu
Trevor Hogan 4 Vernon Cooper
Leo Cullen (C) 5 Adam Eustace
Shane Jennings 6 James Bater (C)
Keith Gleeson 7 Jonathan Edwards
Jamie Heaslip 8 Dafydd Jones
Replacements Brian Blaney (for Jackman, 67) 16 Iestyn Thomas
Stan Wright (for Knoop, 40) 17 Ken Owens (for Hayter, 40)
Devin Toner (for McFadden, 76) 18 Lou Reed (for Eustace, 78)
Cameron Jowitt (for Hogan, 51) 19 Gavin Thomas
Stephen Keogh (for Gleeson, 57) 20 Gavin Cattle (for Davies, 47)
Chris Keane (for Willis, 72) 21 Jon Davies
Ross McCarron (for Brown, 28) 22 Nathan Brew (for Garan Evans, 47)
Not Considered
due to Injury
Chris Whitaker
Michael Berne
Ronnie McCormack
Officials Referee: James Jones (WRU)
Sub Referee: Colin Stanley (IRFU)
Touch Judge: Seamus Flannery (IRFU)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2007-10-08