European Champions Cup: Bath 10-17 Leinster
|Bath: (7) 10|
|Try: Thomas Con: Wilson Pen: Wilson|
|Leinster: (7) 17|
|Tries: Cronin, Larmour Con: Sexton 2 Pen: Byrne|
Ireland wing Jordan Larmour's interception try helped Champions Cup holders Leinster beat Bath and move briefly to the top of Pool One.
The hosts took the lead thanks to the forwards, with Henry Thomas at the bottom of the pile as they drove over.
Leinster's pack responded, capitalising on a line-out in the corner to drag Sean Cronin over in a maul.
Larmour then collected a long pass from Bath's James Wilson and raced almost half the pitch to score the key try.
|Champions Cup Pool One|
The first opportunity to score points came when Leinster were awarded a penalty, but World Rugby player of the year Johnny Sexton was surprisingly inaccurate with his attempt.
Both sides struggled to create openings in the first 20 minutes but Thomas' try brought the game to life.
After Cronin's score in reply, Leinster threatened to go over again just before half-time, after a break by returning Ireland forward Dan Leavy, but Bath's Francois Louw - impressive at the breakdown all afternoon - ended that thrust by winning a penalty.
Wilson was brought in on a short-term contract by Bath to fill the void at fly-half created by injuries to Freddie Burns and Rhys Priestland but he faced a tough opposite number in Sexton, the pivot for Leinster and Ireland's attack.
In a strange passage of play, a Leinster line-out went astray to give Bath possession but Wilson sent a long ball out wide that Larmour seized upon to sprint clear and claim the decisive five points.
Sexton converted and when the Lions fly-half was receiving treatment on his left wrist, Ross Byrne stepped up to extend the lead with a penalty.
Bath came close to a late try when Louw charged towards the try-line but they had to settle for a Wilson penalty that gave them a losing bonus point.
The result leaves Bath third in Pool One, but Toulouse's win over Wasps later in the day saw the French side leapfrog Leinster back into top spot.
What they said
Leinster man of the match James Ryan said:
"We're happy with the result. It was a really tough place to come.
"We got some good drives, scoring that maul try and our scrum was pretty good too, but we let ourselves down a bit in the first half.
"When the internationals were away, the guys that stepped in did a super job. The squad's really strong at the moment but it will be another tough one in the Aviva next week [return fixture with Bath]."
Injured Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland said:
"At least we came away with something today. We're disappointed but there's a lot to take away from today.
"Sam Underhill was outstanding, along with Francois Louw and Tom Ellis. He gives it absolutely everything.
"Leinster are a formidable team. It's going to take a good team to stop them but hopefully we can be that team next Saturday."
Bath: McConnochie; Rokoduguni, Willison, Roberts, Cokanasiga; Wilson, Chudley; Catt, Dunn, Thomas, Attwood, Ewels (c), Ellis, Underhill, Louw.
Replacements: Stooke for Attwood (58), van Rooyen for Catt (58), Walker for Dunn (65), Vuna for Roberts (65), Lahiff for Thomas (69), Garvey for Ewels (69), Fotuali'i for Chudley (73), Davies for Cokanasiga (80).
Leinster: Kearney; Larmour, Ringrose, Reid, Lowe; Sexton, McGrath; Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, Ruddock, van der Flier, Leavy.
Replacements: Conan for Leavy (54), Porter for Furlong (64), Tracy for Cronin (64), E Byrne for Healy (64), Gibson-Park for McGrath (66), R Byrne for Reid (70), O'Loughlin on for Sexton (75), Molony on for Toner (78).
Ref: Mathieu Raynal (France).
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