Leinster 30 v Edinburgh 23


Firstly it should be mentioned how important it was to get a win here. The win all but cements Leinster’s semi-final chances. All that is required from here on in is two wins and we are guaranteed a home semi-final. And on a horrible night in the RDS, Leinster managed to not only win but to secure a bonus point.

The first half was an extremely boring one, with both sides making errors. Leinster looked the more threatening throughout the first half but after patient build-ups, they seemed to knock-on just as the killer blow was coming. This meant that at the end of the 40, Leinster went in with a small 6-3 lead. The worry going in to half time was that Leinster in their last few games have looked unlikely to score many tries.
This fear proved unwarranted as Leinster almost immediately cut loose and scored a wonderful try by Luke McGrath, created mostly through a wonderful line taken by Fitzgerald. What followed was a strange match whereby almost immediately after each Leinster score, Edinburgh got a try of their own. McFadden scored two and Van Der Flier got one. Despite scoring four tries, Leinster kept giving away some soft tries, which meant that the last few minutes of the game were far tenser than they should have been.
This leads me to my main concern following the game. Leinster’s defence is the best in the league at the moment, however they let in 3 really soft tries on Friday night, which let Edinburgh get back into the game when they had no right to. In one of the tries, McFadden was at fault as he stood too narrow and the outhalf just skipped a pass over him. And in Edinburgh’s final try, Toner, who was the defensive pillar at the ruck, just let the Edinburgh scrum-half go over unopposed. The worry is that Leinster are letting their excellent defence slip at a crucial part of the season.
Despite this, top of the table with two games remaining is never a bad place to be! and credit must go to Leinster, who despite really looking like their best all season, have managed to still emerge top of the lot. I think that a team that still manages to win, whilst not playing at their peak shows that they are a good team. However, heading into play off territory, it will be important to sort out their defence, which has been such an asset all season. Also with Ulster and Trevisio remaining, Leinster should be looking to achieve at least 6 points, and lets hope that will be enough for a home semi-final.