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Leinster 38-22 Racing-Metro 92

Leinster (21) 38
Tries: O'Brien, Kearney, Strauss, Heaslip, McFadden Cons: Nacewa 2 Pens: Nacewa 3
Racing-Metro 92 (6) 22
Tries: VuliVuli Cons: Fillol Pens: Fillol 3, Steyn 2

Isa Nacewa and Sebastien Chabal
Isa Nacewa tackles Sebastien Chabal at the RDS

Leinster got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a highly satisfactory start as they defeated Racing-Metro 92 in an entertaining clash at the RDS.

Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney ran in first-half tries as Leinster led 21-6.

A Richard Strauss try then increased Leinster's lead but Albert VuliVuli's superb individual score cut the home team's advantage to seven points.

Brian O'Driscoll had also hobbled off but Jamie Heaslip and Fergus McFadden tries made the game safe for Leinster.

Before the start, the RDS crowd impeccably observed a minute's silence for one of Irish rugby's favourite sons, Moss Keane who died after a long illness on Tuesday.

The Irish legend would have loved the early cut and thrust with Sebastien Chabal and Heaslip exchanging a couple of ferocious hits.

Aided by a stiff breeze in the first half, Leinster's initial tactic was to run the ball at every opportunity against the French Championship leaders and Gordon D'Arcy's break into the Racing 22 set up a simple penalty for Isa Nacewa in the fifth minute.


But the high-spending Parisians were showing attacking intent of their own and after Francois Steyn missed a long-range penalty, another attack yielded a penalty for fly-half Jerome Fillol in the 13th minute.

Despite some entertaining play, there next score didn't come until the 29th minute when Nacewa restored Leinster's lead.

Leinster's opening try came immediately after Steyn's restart as D'Arcy's sidestep and offload sent Mike Ross on the change and Eoin Reddan's quick ball from the ruck allowed O'Brien to score under the posts.

Nacewa added the extras to increase's Leinster lead to 13-3 and the scoreline quickly got even better for the former champions as they notched a second try.

Sexton's slick exchange of passes with O'Driscoll allowed the Leinster fly-half to release Kearney to charge over for a classic score in the corner.

After Nacewa missed the conversion, a Steyn penalty cut Leinster's lead to 12 points but a further Nacewa penalty left the Irish province with a 15-point cushion at the interval.

Brian O'Driscoll attempts to evade Racing's Sireli Bobo
Brian O'Driscoll was forced off by injury at the RDS

A Fillol penalty reduced Leinster's lead immediately after the restart but the home side quickly regained control to put the Racing defence under pressure.

Racing scrum-half Nicolas Durard settled for the option of a yellow card to prevent a likely Leinster try and the home side's decision not to accept three certain points backfired when Heaslip spilled the ball short of the line.

But Leinster's third try wasn't long in coming as Sexton's quick tap penalty on halfway allowed Luke Fitzgerald to release hooker Strauss to score in the left corner.

Steyn's thumping penalty from 66 metres cut Leinster's lead to 17 points and the home side then suffered a double blow on 57 minutes when VuliVuli scored a glorious individual try and O'Driscoll appeared to pull a hamstring in attempting to halt the Fijian.

Fillol's conversion suddenly left only seven points between the sides with Leinster's talisman hobbling off.

But victory and the bonus point was secure for Leinster when Cian Healy's drive into the Racing 22 was finished off by Heaslip running in his team's fourth try.

Another Fillol penalty cut the lead to 11 points but replacement McFadden ran from his own half to notch an injury-time try to complete a fine win and suggest that Leinster have put their early season Magners League struggles behind them.

Leinster: R. Kearney, Nacewa, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Fitzgerald, Sexton, Reddan, van der Merwe, Strauss, Ross, Hines, Toner, O'Brien, Jennings, Heaslip.

Replacements: McFadden for O'Driscoll (58), Horgan for Sexton (74), Boss for Reddan (60), Healy for van der Merwe (52), Harris-Wright for Strauss (74), Shawe for Ross (72), D. Ryan for Jennings (66). Not Used: Galarza.

Racing Metro 92: Steyn, Bobo, Vulivuli, Masi, Saubade, Fillol, Durand, Lo Cicero, Noirot, Orlandi, Nallet, Nailiko, Leo'o, Cronje, Chabal.

Replacements: M. Bergamasco for Masi (52), Loree for Durand (63), Zimmermann for Lo Cicero (70), Festuccia for Noirot (58), Dellape for Nailiko (58), Vaquiin for Leo'o (75), Battut for Chabal (52). Not Used: Brugnaut.

Sin Bin: Durand (44).

Attendance: 18,000

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU).

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see also
Leinster 13-9 Munster
02 Oct 10 |  Leinster

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