Pro12: Leinster 59-22 Cardiff Blues

Highlights - Leinster 59-22 Cardiff Blues

Leinster crushed a dismal Cardiff Blues in the Pro12 clash but the win came at a cost with Brian O'Driscoll forced off at the RDS with an ankle injury.

The injury could make O'Driscoll a doubt for Ireland's upcoming Tests.

Richardt Strauss, Ian Madigan, Jamie Heaslip (two), Dave Kearney and Cian Healy scored first-half tries.

That put Leinster 40-3 up and while Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Tom James replied, Jordi Murphy, Damian Browne and Fionn Carr added more tries.

O'Driscoll sustained his injury after being centrally involved in the move for Leinster's third try in the 18th minute, scored by Heaslip.

The Ireland captain attempted to play on but he was forced to depart in the 23rd minute and could now be a major doubt for the November Tests against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said after the game that the team's medical staff were hopeful the ankle injury was merely a sprain and "not serious".

"He was going to play on. In the end, we measured up the responsibilities that he has got coming up and we replaced him. We don't think at this stage that it is too serious," said Schmidt.

Allied to concern over O'Driscoll's fitness, the other big talking point from this game was Cardiff's woeful first-half performance.

Leinster paraded the majority of their big guns in Saturday's game but that didn't excuse Cardiff's lack of resolve in the opening period.

Strauss celebrated his Ireland call-up by scoring the opening try in the fourth minute after a Dave Kearney run and the score was 14-0 by the seventh minute after Madigan's try, with Sexton converting both early touchdowns.

Halfpenny opened Cardiff's account with a long-range penalty in the 12th minute but the bonus point was in the bag for the home side by the 27th minute after Heaslip's first touchdown was followed by the impressive Kearney's own score.

Kearney's try was set up by one of several storming runs by young Leinster flanker Jordi Murphy who went on to win the man-of-the-match award.

Leinster's dominant scrum set up Heaslip's second try in the 31st minute and weak Blues tackling allowed Healy to score the home side's sixth try four minutes later as they led 40-3 at the interval.

As Leinster's level of performance predictably dipped, Cardiff managed to score three of the next four tries with touchdowns from Cuthbert and Halfpenny being split by Browne's try before Tom James' 69th-minute score.

But Leinster had the final say when Carr ran on to a diagonal kick from Sexton to score.


Leinster: Ian Madigan, David Kearney, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Fergus McFadden, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Leo Cullen (capt), Devin Toner; Kevin McLaughlin, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Brendan Macken for O'Driscoll 23, Fionn Carr for D'Arcy 52, Heinke van der Merwe for Healy 49, Sean Cronin for Strauss 47, Jamie Hagan for Ross 55, Damian Browne for Cullen 41, Rhys Ruddock for McLaughlin 49, Isaac Boss for Murphy 66

Cardiff Blues: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Dafydd Hewitt, Jamie Roberts, Tom James, Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams; Tafa'ao Filise, Marc Breeze, Scott Andrews, Bradley Davies, James Down, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton, Andries Pretorius (captain).

Replacements: Tom Williams for Hewitt 66, Lew Jones for L Williams 56, Rhys Williams for Breeze 56, Nathan Trevett for Andrews 70, Lou Reed for B Davies 49, Robin Copeland for Pretorius 49.

Not Used: Campese Ma'afu, Ceri Sweeney.

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)