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Leinster on the up

19th November 2010 22:22

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Shane Horgan Leinster v Clermont Auvergne April 2010

Horgan: Second on all-time list

Leinster moved back into the top four of the Magners League on Friday night after beating a disappointing Dragons side 27-6 at the RDS.

Shane Horgan scored a brace of tries in the bonus-point win, the big wing taking his tally to 33 for the league - a number which places him second on the all-time try-scoring list.

Half-back pair Shaun Berne and Isaac Boss also scored, with Isa Nacewa kicking the rest of Leinster's points.

The Newport side had precious few scoring chances in the match but did nevertheless enjoy a purple patch towards the end of the first half, when Jason Tovey kicked two penalties.

Berne was the first man to cross the whitewash after just three minutes having popped up in support of Horgan, who had brushed past Will Harries having been sent clear on the right.

Nacewa added both the conversion and an eighth-minute penalty, before a dropped pass in the Leinster 22 and solid hit by Pat Leach on Horgan led to a Dragons penalty.

Tovey duly obliged to put the Dragons' first points on the board for 10-3.

Dragons captain Tom Willis was then caught offside but Nacewa was unable to kick the penalty, pushing his attempt left of the posts.

Even so, a break from Fergus McFadden again showed Leinster's threat out wide and they scored again in the 26th minute when Berne's cross-field kick found Horgan in acres of space, with Nacewa converting.

The Dragons tried to make headway through their forwards and as Scott Morgan gathered a

lineout ball near the hosts' line, Leinster captain Leo Cullen was sin-binned for taking out a support player.

And yet, handed a man advantage, the Dragons could not take advantage. Despite a good carry from Adam Hughes, a three-to-one overlap on the left went to waste.

Hughes was then closed down by the covering David Kearney as he fielded Tovey's punt to the corner.

The visitors stood 17-3 down at half-time and added three more points when Tovey - who also missed an attempt - kicked a penalty after Hughes had wriggled free from a tackle.

However, Leinster seized control again near the hour - their intent signalled when Stephen

Keogh fell inches short of scoring.

Horgan touched down again after Gavin Thomas picked up a yellow card for not rolling away - the try coming after Boss spotted space and passed to his team-mate, who fended off Harries.

It went unconverted but Boss himself got in on the act with 11 minutes left after McFadden and Eoin O'Malley sent him scampering over to the right of the posts.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Try: Horgan 2, Berne, Boss
Cons: Nacewa 2
Pens: Nacewa

For Dragons:
Pens: Tovey 2

Leinster:15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 David Kearney, 10 Shaun Berne, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Stephen Keogh, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Trevor Hogan, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Clint Newland, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe,
Replacements 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Andrew Conway.

Dragons: 15 Pat Leach, 14 Will Harries, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Adam Hughes, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Adam Jones, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Nigel Hall, 2 Tom Willis (c), 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Dan Way, 18 Hugh Gustafson, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Hugo Ellis, 21 Rhodri Gomer Davies, 22 James Leadbeater, 23 Matthew Jones.

Referee: Stefano Penne

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