Pro12: Leinster 22-16 Edinburgh

Leinster (10) 22

  • Tries: Sexton, Macken 2
  • Cons: Sexton 2
  • Pens: Sexton

Edinburgh (6) 16

  • Tries: Nel
  • Cons: Laidlaw
  • Pens: Laidlaw 3

Two second-half tries from Brendan Macken gave Leinster a hard-earned victory over Edinburgh at the RDS.

Jonathan Sexton converted his early try and added a penalty before Greg Laidlaw slotted over twice for Edinburgh to leave it 10-6 at the break.

Edinburgh pair John Yapp and Sean Cox were in the sin-bin when Macken went over for a try and he added another to make it 22-9 after 66 minutes.

Willem Nel's converted try gave the Scots hope but Leinster held on to win.

Proceedings began on a sombre note as a minute's silence was impeccably observed in honour of Ulster's Nevin Spence, who died tragically last weekend.

The match got under way amid a fans' rendition of 'Stand up for the Ulstermen' and Leinster built up an early head of steam, threatening from quick ball.

Sexton sent Cian Healy hurtling through a sleepy Edinburgh midfield, and the out-half followed up to spear through a gap in the drifting defence and score the opening try on eight minutes.

The left-sided conversion was added by Sexton, who moved Leinster into double figures by the end of the first quarter, landing a penalty from the right after Andrew Conway was kept out close to the try-line.

A snappy break from Richie Rees got the Scots into scoring range and, after Nick De Luca's near miss from a hanging kick, their captain Laidlaw potted a simple penalty for 10-3.

Edinburgh drew closer thanks to a longer strike from Laidlaw just past the half hour mark, as an increasing amount of unforced errors left Leinster frustrated.

As the second half began, Leinster needed a spark of inspiration and it came from replacement centre Macken, who launched a superb counter attack from deep.

Backs and forwards combined to keep the move going and Edinburgh prop Yapp's efforts in slowing up a close-in ruck resulted in him being yellow carded.

As Leinster pressed again, the Scots had lock Sean Cox sin-binned for killing the ball.

The numerical advantage eventually paid off for Leinster in the 57th minute as they flooded forward in support of the fast-breaking Fionn Carr, who passed for Macken to finish off in the right corner.

Sexton was unable to convert and Edinburgh responded with another Laidlaw penalty on the hour mark to stay in the hunt.

However, a bout of hard running and crisp passing helped Leinster take a sizeable leap towards victory.

Man-of-the-match Macken snuck through for his second try, profiting from Jordi Murphy's pass out of a tackle.

Edinburgh were far from finished, their forwards carrying with purpose in the shadow of the posts and a lovely pop pass from Rees put replacement Nel over in the 71st minute.

Laidlaw converted to give the Scots a deserved losing bonus point, but there were no further scores despite plenty of action in the late stages.

Leinster: Nacewa, Conway, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Carr, J Sexton, Reddan, Healy, Cronin, Ross, Cullen, Denton, McLaughlin, Jennings, J Heaslip.

Replacements: Macken for D'Arcy (27), Madigan for J Sexton (67), van der Merwe for Healy (52), Hagan for Ross (59), Toner for Cullen (59), Murphy for Jennings (48).

Not used: T Sexton, Cooney.

Edinburgh: Tonks, Jones, De Luca, Scott, Brown, Laidlaw, Rees, Yapp, Ford, Cross, Gilchrist, Cox, McInally, Grant, Talei.

Replacements: Titterrell for Ford (74), Nel for Cross (37), Basilaia for Talei (64).

Not used: Hislop, McAlpine, Leck, Leonard, Fife.

Att: 15,000

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)