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Leinster Rugby (21) 38 - 22 (6) Racing Metro
RDS Showground, Ballsbridge
Saturday, 9th October 2010, 13:30

Saturday afternoon in the RDS saw Leinster prove that last weeks level of performance wasn't just a once off. It was a reminder, if one was needed, of the sheer class this team possesses.

Isa Nacewa got Leinster off the mark early, once again taking charge of the kicking duties instead of Jonny Sexton. Both teams then traded penalties to leave the score 6-3 to the hosts with thirty minutes gone.

It was from a restart that the first try of the game arrived.  After line breaks from both D'Arcy and Ross, quick recycling allowed Eoin Reddan to send Sean O'Brien over the line. Nacewa duly added the extras to leave the score 13-3. Leinster fans barely had time to draw their breath before their the team crossed for another try. It was right out of the top draw and reminiscent of the early David Knox years. A slick wrap around move between Sexton and O'Driscoll allowed the out half to send Rob Kearney over in the corner. Once again both teams traded penalties before half time to leave the score 21-6 at half time.

It was Racing who got off the mark first in the second half, Fillol adding another penalty to edge his team back into the match. Leinster weren't about to lie down though and some slick feet from the ever exciting Luke Fitzgerald allowed Richardt Strauss, who impressed all afternoon, to go over for his well deserved first Leinster try.

It was at this point that Racing Metro hit their purple patch, which resulted in a 10-point haul for the French outfit. Beginning with a huge Steyn penalty from within his own half and finishing with VuliVuli going straight through the centre of the Leinster defence, to score under the posts. Perhaps more worringly from a Leinster prespective was the sight of Brian O'Driscoll limping off straight after with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. However the Irish star tweeted today "Hopeful hamstring injury not as bad as first thought. Would be gutted if I missed Wembley next week."

At this point the game was primed for a Racing comeback, but Leinster once again had other ideas, some great work from D'Arcy and Healy allowed captain Heaslip to stroll in under the posts and seal the bonus point that may turn out to be crucial come January. With the team in this sort of mood it was hardly surprising when they rounded off the performance with a super try which started from well within their own half and was finished by Fergus Mc Fadden, who showed an impressive turn of speed to burn Racing winger Saubade on the outside before going over in the corner.

This was an excellent Leinster performance; but they will need to be firing on all cylinders next week if they are to record their first away win of the season.

Match Statistics

Leinster Rugby

Racing Metro
Tries O'Brien, 31
Kearney, 32
Strauss, 48
Heaslip, 63
McFadden, 80

VuliVuli, 56
Conversions Nacewa (2)

Penalties Nacewa (3)

Fillol (3)
Steyn (2)
Sin Bin


Teams Rob Kearney
15 Francois Steyn
Isa Nacewa 14 Serili Bobo
Brian O'Driscoll
13 Albert VuliVuli
Gordon D'Arcy
12 Andrea Masi
Luke Fitzgerald
11 Julien Saubade
Jonathan Sexton
10 Jerome Fillol
Eoin Reddan
9 Nicolas Durand

Heinke van der Merwe 1 Andrea Lo Cicero
Richardt Strauss
2 Benjamin Noirot
Mike Ross
3 Juan Pablo Orlandi
Nathan Hines
4 Lionel Nallet (C)
Devin Toner
5 Jone Qovu
Sean O'Brien 6 Johnny Leo'o
Shane Jennings
7 Jacques Cronje
Jamie Heaslip (C)
8 Sebastien Chabal

Replacements Jason Harris-Wright
16 Carlo Festuccia
Cian Healy 17 Scott Zimmerman
Simon Shawe
18 Julien Brugnaut
Mariano Galarza
19 Santiago Dellape
Dominic Ryan 20 Mathieu Loree
Isaac Boss
21 Mirco Bergamasco
Fergus McFadden 22 Remy Vaquin
Shane Horgan
23 Antoine Battut

Not Considered
due to Injury
Stan Wright
Leo Cullen
Kevin McLaughlin
Shaun Berne
Ed O'Donoghue
John Fogarty

Juan Martin Hernandez
Benjamin Fall
Jonathan Wisniewski
Benjamin Sa
Officials Referee: David Pearson (RFU)
Assistant Referees: Rob Debney (RFU), Stuart Terheege (RFU)
4th Official: Peter Dennehy (IRFU)
5th Official: Ken Henley-Willis (Leinster Rugby Referees)

by Stephen Devine, © 2010-10-10