Leinster power into European Champions Cup quarter-finals

From BBC - January 14, 2018

Leinster secured a home Champions Cup quarter-final by scoring eight tries in a thumping victory over Glasgow at the RDS to finish top of Pool Three.

Leinster had the bonus point in the bag before half-time thanks to five scores and added three more after the break.

Isa Nacewa and Scott Fardy both crossed twice for the dominant Irish province.

Nikola Matawalu scored two of Glasgow's three tries but the Scottish side have lost all five of their games while Leinster have won all five of theirs.

The hosts underlined their credentials as one of the favourites to win the competition with a ruthlessly efficient display, matching set-piece dominance and superiority up front with accuracy, crisp passing, pace and clinical finishing.

Leinster bowed out to Clermont Auvergne in the semi-finals of last season's competition, but five victories from their opening five games - for the first time in 13 years - indicate that they will be a major force to be reckoned with when the knockout stages come round in the spring.

Glasgow, runaway leaders in Conference A of the Pro14, fielded a young side and came to Dublin knowing that their chances of progression were already over.

They have now lost their first five matches of a European campaign for the first time since 2012-13 and have failed to beat their Irish opponents since 1999, Leinster having won seven of the eight encounters between the sides in Europe.

Jordi Murphy picked a great line and ran in under the posts after Luke McGrath set him up with a delayed pass in the seventh minute but three minutes later the home team were reduced to 14 men when Josh van der Flier was yellow-carded for a try-denying professional foul.

Fijian wing Matawalu weaved past a couple of Leinster defenders with a double step and darted over for his first touchdown but soon after Nacewa scythed through a porous-looking visiting defence after running onto a Johnny Sexton pass.

Hooker Sean Cronin stretched to dot down after his side executed a rolling maul from a line-out and then Fardy finished off a flowing Leinster move which started close to their own line by diving over in the corner.


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