European Champions Cup: Leinster 55-19 Glasgow Warriors

James Lowe and Robbie Henshaw congratulate Leinster try-scorer Isa Nacewa
James Lowe and Robbie Henshaw congratulate Leinster try-scorer Isa Nacewa
European Champions Cup Pool 3
Leinster (34) 55
Tries: Murphy, Nacewa 2, Cronin, Fardy 2, Sexton, Lowe Cons: Sexton 3, R Byrne 3 Pen: Sexton
Glasgow (7) 19
Tries: Matawalu 2, Ashe Cons: Horne, Thomson

Leinster secured a home Champions Cup quarter-final by scoring eight tries in a thumping victory over Glasgow at the RDS to finish top of Pool Three.

Leinster had the bonus point in the bag before half-time thanks to five scores and added three more after the break.

Isa Nacewa and Scott Fardy both crossed twice for the dominant Irish province.

Nikola Matawalu scored two of Glasgow's three tries but the Scottish side have lost all five of their games while Leinster have won all five of theirs.

The hosts underlined their credentials as one of the favourites to win the competition with a ruthlessly efficient display, matching set-piece dominance and superiority up front with accuracy, crisp passing, pace and clinical finishing.

Leinster bowed out to Clermont Auvergne in the semi-finals of last season's competition, but five victories from their opening five games - for the first time in 13 years - indicate that they will be a major force to be reckoned with when the knockout stages come round in the spring.

Glasgow, runaway leaders in Conference A of the Pro14, fielded a young side and came to Dublin knowing that their chances of progression were already over.

They have now lost their first five matches of a European campaign for the first time since 2012-13 and have failed to beat their Irish opponents in Europe since 1999, Leinster having won seven of the eight encounters.

CHAMPIONS CUP POOL 3
TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstBonus PtsPoints
Leinster550015379323
Exeter530211789214
Montpellier5203116140513
Glasgow500510017822

Jordi Murphy picked a great line and ran in under the posts after Luke McGrath set him up with a delayed pass in the seventh minute but three minutes later the home team were reduced to 14 men when Murphy was yellow-carded for a try-denying professional foul.

Fijian wing Matawalu weaved past a couple of Leinster defenders with a double step and darted over for his first touchdown but soon after Nacewa scythed through a porous visiting defence after running onto a Johnny Sexton pass.

Hooker Sean Cronin stretched to dot down after his side executed a rolling maul from a line-out and then Fardy finished off a flowing Leinster move which started close to their own line by diving over in the corner.

Leinster moved the ball quickly through the hands for Sexton to run in his side's fifth try for a 34-7 lead at the break.

McGrath delivered quick ball for Nacewa to score 16 minutes into the second half, then Adam Ashe briefly interrupted the hosts' dominance by collecting an offload and going over for Glasgow's second try.

James Lowe marked his first European appearance by crossing the whitewash and then Matawalu showed impressive athleticism to touch down near the flag and reduce his side's arrears to 31 points.

Fardy rumbled over again with three minutes remaining, replacement Ross Byrne kicking his third conversion, to add to the three two-pointers and penalty Sexton landed before being substituted.

Peter Horne and Brandon Thomson added the extras to two of Glasgow's tries and Dave Rennie's charges will conclude their hugely disappointing campaign at home to Exeter Chiefs next Saturday.

Leinster travel to face Montpellier in their final pool game.

Leinster: J Larmour; F McFadden, R Henshaw, I Nacewa (capt), J Lowe; J Sexton, L McGrath; J McGrath, S Cronin, T Furlong, D Toner, S Fardy, J Murphy, J van der Flier, J Conan.

Replacements: B Byrne, C Healy (for J McGrath, 50), A Porter (for Furlong, 58), J Ryan (for Toner, 63), D Leavy, N McCarthy (for L McGrath, 70), R Byrne (for Sexton, 50), R Kearney (for Conan, 55).

Yellow card: Murphy (11)

Glasgow: R Jackson; L Jones, H Jones, N Grigg, N Matawalu; P Horne, A Price; J Bhatti, G Turner, S Halanukonuka, R Harley (capt), G Peterson, M Fagerson, M Smith, A Ashe.

Replacements: G Stewart, A Allan (for Bhatti, 58), D Rae (for Halanukonuka, 60), K McDonald (for Peterson, 66), C Fusaro (for Smith, 66), G Horne (for Price, 46) B Thomson, H Pyrgos.

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