Pro12: Leinster 37-23 Cardiff Blues
LEINSTER (13) 37
- Ruddock, M. McGrath, D'Arcy, L. McGrath
- Madigan 4
- Gopperth, Madigan 2
CARDIFF BLUES (9) 23
- Allen, Warburton
- Patchell 2
- Patchell 3
Leinster survived a Cardiff Blues fightback to secure a bonus-point 37-23 victory in the Pro12 clash at the RDS.
Rhys Ruddock went over to help the Irish hosts to a 13-9 lead at the break before tries from Mick McGrath and Gordon D'Arcy made it 27-9.
Cory Allen started the comeback with a try and Sam Warburton touched down as Blues closed the gap to four points.
Leinster moved clear again thanks to Ian Madigan's penalty and a Luke McGrath try in the final minute.
A Rob Kearney raid on the right set up good field position for Leinster early on, with Ian Madigan's subsequent penalty punishing an Allen offside.
A binding offence by Adam Jones allowed Madigan to double Leinster's lead from further out, but the centre was narrowly wide with a 14th minute penalty attempt.
Rhys Patchell, the league's current top scorer, lofted over a left-sided penalty before missing an easier kick.
The full-back made the most of his third effort on goal, bring the visitors level at 6-6 after captain Josh Navidi was first in to win a ruck decision.
The game finally burst into life in the 37th minute when Jimmy Gopperth's short pass sent Ruddock hurtling through a gap and two crunching hand-offs later, the fast-paced flanker powered over in the right corner.
Madigan added a terrific conversion but Patchell nailed an injury-time penalty from wide out, just reward for a late attacking flurry from the Welshmen.
The second half was only six minutes old when D'Arcy's pinpoint pass put Madigan dashing away up the left wing and he fed replacement winger Mick McGrath, who impressively bumped off George Watkins' tackle, regained his feet and stretched over for his first Pro 12 try.
Madigan added the extras for a 20-9 advantage and Blues soon fell further behind, as Gopperth cut through midfield and had D'Arcy on his shoulder to finish off under the posts.
D'Arcy's 60th try in Leinster colours was converted by Madigan, who soon blundered when attempting to retrieve a kick and the loose ball was pounced upon by Allen for a soft converted score.
That was Blues's first try in 235 minutes of rugby and they had a second soon after as Dan Fish's floated pass put Warburton over to the left of the posts.
Patchell's conversion suddenly made it a four-point game.
But Leinster showed the greater composure in a frantic finish, with Madigan clipping over a close-range penalty and Bryan Byrne used a last-gasp turnover to put Luke McGrath through for try number four.
Leinster: R. Kearney, McFadden, D'Arcy, Madigan, Fanning, Gopperth, Reddan, Bent, Cronin, Moore, Toner, Douglas, Ruddock, Ryan, J. Heaslip.
Replacements: L. McGrath for R. Kearney (41), M. McGrath for Reddan (67), B. Byrne for Cronin (79), Furlong for Moore (67), M. McCarthy for Douglas (58), Conan for Ruddock (55). Not Used: E. Byrne, Crosbie.
Cardiff Blues: Patchell, Cuthbert, Allen, Hewitt, Watkins, G. Davies, L. Jones, G. Jenkins, Dacey, A. Jones, Hoeata, Dicomidis, Turnbull, Warburton, Navidi.
Replacements: A. Thomas for Hewitt (31), Fish for Watkins (53), Knoyle for L. Jones (74), Hobbs for G Jenkins (53), Rees for Dacey (54), Filise for A. Jones (58), Cook for Hoeata (58), Vosawai for Navidi (73).
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Mark Patton, Will O'Connor (both IRFU)
TMO: John Carvill (IRFU)