Heineken Champions Cup: Leinster 45-20 Bath - Irish province cruise to opening win in Dublin

Jamison Gibson-Park
Jamison Gibson-Park's two tries bookended a dominant first half for Leinster
Heineken Champions Cup Pool A
Leinster (31) 45
Tries: Gibson-Park 2, Furlong, Lowe, Keenan, Kelleher, van der Flier Cons: R Byrne 5
Bath (13) 20
Tries: Du Toit, Hamer-Webb Cons: Bailey 2 Pens: Bailey 2

Leinster ran in seven tries to open their Champions Cup account with a commanding win over Bath in Dublin.

Missing three players through Covid-19 and several more due to injury, Leinster's contingent of Ireland internationals still proved too much for the Premiership's bottom side.

Jamison Gibson-Park crossed twice as the hosts scored five first-half tries to take complete control.

Bath scored late in each half through Jacques du Toit and Gabe Hamer-Webb.

Neither try threatened to alter the result of the game as Stuart Hooper's side, winless in nine league matches, must now turn their attentions to next weekend's meeting with last year's beaten finalists La Rochelle.

Leinster face a six-day turnaround with Montpellier next up on Friday night.

Despite the disrupted build-up, the Irish province made little fuss of getting the expected win at the Aviva Stadium, falling behind early to an Orlando Bailey penalty but quickly responding to hit the front by taking advantage of an overlap on the short side to send Gibson-Park over.

The Irish front row of Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong enjoyed by far the better of the set piece as Leinster's power game troubled Bath, with Furlong bulldozing over for a second before James Lowe collected Hugo Keenan's pop pass to open up a 19-6 lead before the 20-minute mark.

Lowe then returned the favour with a well-disguised pass allowing Keenan to glide in for the bonus-point score on 25 minutes, with Gibson-Park claiming his second from broken play as Leinster took advantage of their extra man with Richard de Carpentier in the sin-bin for collapsing a maul.

Du Toit caught Leinster napping at the front of line-out to provide a response from Bath just before the break, but at no point did the momentum swing enough to suggest the gap could be narrowed sufficiently to make for a tight game.

Keller and Josh van der Flier made the most of Leinster's dominance up front to score further tries after the break before Hamer-Webb ripped through a gap in the hosts' defensive line to find a late consolation score for Bath.

Leinster: Keenan; Larmour; Ringrose, Frawley; Lowe; R Byrne, Gibson Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong; Molony, Baird; Ruddock (capt), van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Sheehan, Healy, Ala'alatoa, Toner, Deegan, McGrath, J O'Brien, T O'Brien.

Bath: De Glanville; Rokoduguni; Butt, Ojomoh; Muir; Bailey, B Spencer; Boyce, Du Toit, Stuart; McNally, Ewels (capt); Ellis, De Carpentier, Bayliss.

Replacements: Dunn, Cordwell, Rae, Spencer, Richards, W Simpson, Hamer-Webb, Prydie.

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