Darren Cleary at the RDS
Leinster secured top spot in the Guinness Pro 12 table with emphatic 45-9 victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.
Tries from Luke McGrath, Rhys Ruddock, Joey Carbery and Ed Byrne as well as 10 points from the boot of Ross Byrne helped them to a 36 point victory.
A decent game was killed as a contest in the third quarter as Leinster ran rampant as they secured an impressive bonus point win.
The Blues though were forced to weather an early Scarlets storm as they conceded a penalty inside their own 22’ with the Welsh side coming dangerously close to the line in the opening 5 minutes.
Dan Jones converted to draw first blood for the visitors. Leinster hit the front on 10 minutes when Luke McGrath peeled off the back of a 5 metre scrum before powering past a tackle and touching down.
Ross Byrne added to extras before a Jones penalty narrowed that gap to the slimmest of margins, 7-6.
McGrath then got his second as he charged down Jones’ attempt to relive pressure and clear his lines, the scrum-half turned on the after burners to get the try.
Leinster’s lead was reduced to 3 by the break with another penalty from Jones leaving it Leinster 12-9 Scarlets after the first 40 minutes.
Leinster stretched their lead in the second half when Rhys Ruddock crossed the line on 47 minutes. Fergus McFadden plucked the ball from the air superbly after a cross field kick from Adam Byrbe before working wide for Ruddock to dot down.
It was a night that Joey Carbery further cemented his reputation as one of the most talented and exciting players in Irish rugby, the full-back secured the bonus point.
It didn’t take the 21-year-old long to get a second as he made it 31-9 in the 52nd minute.
Carbery could’ve had a hat-trick, he was stopped just short of the line and offloaded for substitute Ed Byrne to get the 6th try.
What a moment it was for him, on his first appearance back at the RDS in almost 28 months after an injury ravaged spell on the sidelines.
An impressive win for the Blues in the end, made all the more eye catching by the emphatic display from start to finish. Leinster despite missing the bulk of their internationals, were frighteningly strong.