Leinster clocked up their fifth success of the URC in what seems an onward match to ultimate honours in the competition after overwhelming a Glasgow Warriors side that were decidedly second best in almost all facets of the game.
he visitors held all the cards, not least in having such a strong bench to make a huge impact in the second half, but it was their style of play – wide movement of the ball, direct running by their big forwards, and an iron curtain defence – that brought an all-too-easy victory.
Leinster wasted little time in pursuit of points with Ross Byrne knocking over a penalty goal from the 10-metre line after three minutes.
That was to be just the aperitif for Leinster, who moved the ball wide with accuracy and when Dan Leavy linked with Adam Byrne, Rónan Kelleher was on hand to complete the move, before Byrne added the touchline conversion.
A penalty goal by Glasgow’s full-back Ross Thompson gave the home side a smidgen of hope but their further efforts to break an impregnable Leinster defence came to nought.
It was Leinster who scored the next points after several phases of penetrating play that ended with a half break by James Lowe to set up a try for Hugo Keenan, Byrne again with the kick.
Then just before half-time Glasgow finally made headway with a passage of exhilarating back play that led to a succession of penalties near the Leinster five-metre line and a yellow card for Jack Conan after the Lions No 8 used hands in the ruck.
The home side dispensed with the kick to touch and went for the direct route, culminating in a try for back row Jack Dempsey, Thompson adding the extras to leave his side trailing 10-17 at the break.
Glasgow tried desperately to use their one-man advantage to close the gap in the opening minutes of the second half but again the Leinster defence could not be breached. Then when Conan returned to the field Leinster switched back into scoring mode, Ross Byrne’s overhead pass giving Adam Byrne a try in the corner.
Ross Byrne added the extras and then made it five successes from five kicks when he added the conversion to the bonus-point try from replacement hooker Dan Sheehan, who capped a memorable week after being named in Andy Farrell’s international squad for the November Tests.
Glasgow, however, had the final say with a close-range score by replacement second-row Lewis Bean getting the final points of the game.
GLASGOW WARRIORS – R Thompson; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu (N Grigg 70), S Johnson, R McLean; D Weir (C Forbes 56), A Price (G Horne 54); J Bhatti (O Kebble 45 ), J Matthews (G Turner 40), Z Fagerson (E Pieretto 57); R Harley (L Bean 75), R Gray; R Wilson (capt), R Darge (M Fagerson 62), J Dempsey.
LEINSTER – H Keenan; A Byrne, G Ringrose (J Osborne 70), C Frawley, J Lowe; R Byrne, L McGrath (capt) (J Gibson-Park 62); C Healy (E Byrne 54), R Kelleher (D Sheehan 54), T Furlong (M Ala’alatoa 54); R Molony, R Baird (D Toner 50); C Doris (R Ruddock 66), D Leavy (J vd Flier 50), J Conan.
REF – C Evans (WRU)