Pro14: Leinster secure 36-12 bonus-point win over Cheetahs
|Guinness Pro14: Leinster v Cheetahs|
|Leinster (22) 36|
|Tries: Conners 2, Bent, R. Kelleher, Ruddock Cons: Frawley 4 Pen: Frawley|
|Tries: de Bruin, Davis Con: Pienaar|
Leinster maintained their 100% record in the Pro14 with a five-try win over Cheetahs at the RDS.
It was an 11th straight competition win for Leo Cullen's Conference A leaders who are seeking a third title in a row.
Will Connors got two tries and fellow forwards Michael Bent, Ronan Kelleher and Rhys Ruddock also touched down to put the hosts 36-0 up.
Cheetahs, third in the table, scored the last two tries through replacement forwards Luan De Bruin and Aidon Davis.
Leinster were dominant in the first half, but had to wait until the 21st minute for the opening score, as Connors spun out of a couple of tackles to touch down after number eight Max Deegan had made ground with a strong run.
The young flanker's first senior score was neatly converted from the left by Ciaran Frawley, who also knocked over a penalty following prop Charles Marais' 28th-minute yellow card for a no-arms tackle on Peter Dooley.
Deegan's break from a short Frawley pass opened up the South Africans' defence again, and after Kelleher was stopped short, a well-supported Bent soon burrowed over for his third try of the season.
Newly-capped Ireland hooker Kelleher increased his influence with a turnover penalty, and the subsequent maul - right on the stroke of half-time - saw the 22-year-old front-rower power over for a deserved five-pointer.
Luke McGrath's snappy break quickly launched Leinster forward on the resumption, Ruddock soon driving in under the posts.
Ross Molony secured line-out possession for the drive which Connors broke from for his second try of the day.
Cheetahs got on top at scrum time nearing the hour mark, their front row reserves forcing repeated penalties. Leinster lost replacement Sean Cronin to the sin bin for a no-arms tackle close to his own line, with Rhyno Smith denied a try by the hosts' defence.
De Bruin eventually squeezed over in the 62nd minute, captain Ruan Pienaar supplying the extras.
Cheetahs lost centre Benhard Janse Van Rensburg to the bin for a dangerous sliding challenge on McFadden, but lock Davis stretched out to turn some powerful team carrying into a last-minute try.
Leinster: R. Kearney, McFadden, J. O'Brien, Tomane, D. Kearney, Frawley, McGrath, Dooley, R. Kelleher, Bent, Molony, Fardy, Ruddock, Conners, Deegan.
Replacements: Cronin, Milne, Salanoa, Baird, Penny, Gibson-Park, H. Byrne, C. Kelleher.
Cheetahs: R. Smith, Blommetjies, Small-Smith, Janse Van Rensburg, Maxwane, T. Schoeman, Pienaar, C. Marais, Dweba, C. Coetzee, Steenkamp, Du Preez, Massyn, Pokomela, Wiese.
Replacements: Arnoldi, B. Venter, de Bruin, Davis, Olivier, Meyer, L. Fouche, C. Smit.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)