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nightmare start for Te'o

They came to hail a new hero in Blue.

Ben Te'o lasted just 19 minutes of his Leinster debut, a suspected broken arm ending his night prematurely.

There was little more than a half hour gone when Kane Douglas took what looked like a lights-out blow to the side of the head.

There is no such thing as fair play or fortune in this business.

The list of Leinster's fallen grows longer with every game played and they are coming in all the wrong places.

Thankfully, it didn't prevent five tries and a 33-8 defeat of Edinburgh in what coach Matt O'Connor called "a pretty average night".

The visitors came into this argument with a truck load of broken bodies themselves, 18 to be exact, and two more taken away by national coach Vern Cotter.

Leinster had well-documented problems of their own, though their resources are deeper than those of the Scots.

Habit

The home side were beginning to make a habit out of starting badly. It happened against Wasps. Castres too.

There must have been careful attention paid to it.

The initial plays spoke to the percentages. Te'o hit a ruck well and hit it up in close company.

Fly-half Jimmy Gopperth kicked when he could have run, but went for the corner when he could have focused on the posts.

Richardt Strauss was accurate at the lineout and Dominic Ryan took full advantage of sloppy defence to slip through the middle for the first try in the fourth minute.

The immediate impression was one of a landslide, a long night in Dublin for Edinburgh.

It took a slick piece of technique at the breakdown from Jack Conan to halt their progress.

The imports Te'o and Douglas were both stopped dead in their tracks before Noel Reid carved it up from Gopperth's inside ball.

The swift handling of Michael Bent and Kevin McLaughlin generated space for Luke Fitzgerald on the left and Conan brushed aside Tomas Leonardi on the right in a smart finish for Gopperth to convert for 12 points in as many minutes.

Edinburgh out-half Tom Heathcote couldn't master a straight forward penalty when it came his way.

Then, just when Te'o was warming to his work with two quick tackles, he was forced off from a nasty looking blow to his forearm.

The main draw was down and out just before Strauss wandered into an offside position. Heathcote wasn't so generous second time around for 12-3 in the 24th minute.

It wasn't long before Douglas was being assisted from the field with what looked suspiciously like concussion.

A side-on tackle from prop Tadhg Furlong encouraged a turnover. Zane Kirchner was cool on the ball and Jimmy Gopperth launched a pinpoint diagonal ball into space.

Scrum-half Luke McGrath's behind-the-back party trick almost put Furlong in clover.

Leinster had to be content with being halfway towards their third four-try bonus-point for the season.

They needed to pick up the pace.

Conan and McLaughlin tried to provide impetus coming around the corner and Noel Reid tickled a few testers in behind, the second leading to a lineout for the Scots.

They could not control it. Tom Denton thundered into contact. The penalty came for playing the ball in front of scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

Leinster were clean on their own ball and Dominic Ryan was the man in the van from the maul for his second. Gopperth's conversion from the right made it 19-3 in the 53rd minute.

Edinburgh were not too bothered about it. They came with renewed enthusiasm.

Fanning wrapped up Andries Strauss in an all-or-nothing tackle. Ryan arrived to pinch the ball on the floor. The danger was cleared.

A thinking man's lineout started with Furlong's quick hands, Isaac Boss's snipe, Denton's nice feed of the floor to the on-rushing Ben Marshall for the fourth try and fifth point.

There was still work to be done. Fanning made another good defensive decision coming in off his wing. Fitzgerald coralled Tim Visser.

And still they raided, this time down the right for flanker Leonardi to supply a consolation in the 76th minute.

This was the signal for Fitzgerald to cut a fine line off Gopperth's flat pass and dispatch an offfload eagerly eaten up by replacement wing Mick McGrath for the fly-half to conclude the evening with another two points.

It takes Leinster above Connacht and Munster - with the latter playing today - into fourth place in the table.

"We haven't been going as well as we should be in the League so far," said Man of the Match Dominic Ryan.

"We really focused in on getting the bonus point today. It was great to score the (five) tries.

"I can't take too much credit for my tries. You just sit in behind the maul and ride the train to the line."

When Jack Conan broke over on the right, Jimmy Gopperth's conversion made it 12 points in as many minutes.

He is the forgotten man no longer. There were two tries, trademark hits and a presence on the ground.


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