Wednesday 21 November 2018

Nacewa rescues a bonus for Leinster

Edinburgh 16 Leinster 9

Leinster's Isa Nacewa is tackled by Neil Cochrane
Leinster's Isa Nacewa is tackled by Neil Cochrane
Bryan Byrne is tackled by Fraser McKenzie, left, and John Andress, Edinburgh
A disappointed Royce Burke-Flynn
Leinster players following their side's defeat in Edinburgh
Ross Molony, Leinster, takes possession in a lineout

Leo Cullen came away from the first real test of his tenure with nothing more than a losing bonus point as Leinster lost out to Edinburgh 16-9 on the opening night of the PRO12 League at Meggetland.

The Irish eased in front from an Isa Nacewa penalty in the 17th minute for a high tackle on out-half Cathal Marsh, as both clubs struggled for any sort of rhythm.

The equaliser came from the boot of scrum-half Nathan Fowles when Dan Leavy infringed in the 25th minute.

It stayed that way to the break as neither club could establish any real dominance in a match that had the feel of players searching for form and fitness.

Leavy made up for his indiscretion by shaking the ball free from flanker Roddy Grant to prevent a certain try. However, Edinburgh lock Cornell du Preez's offload allowed wing Damien Hoyland to find a metre of space to squeeze in at the left corner for 8-3 in the 55th minute.

Leinster responded quickly, their sound driving play creating the pressure to force a penalty, which Nacewa struck, to leave two in it in the 58th minute.


The damage was repaired when full-back Jack Cuthbert found the posts before Nacewa held his nerve to make it 11-9 in the 73rd minute.

Dominic Ryan was binned late on as Edinburgh finished on the attack - and in control.

They had the composure to hold onto the ball close-in before releasing it wide for Hoyland to wrap it up with his second try.

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