Leister got their RaboDirect Pro12 campaign off to the worst possible start as they lost 27-3 at the hands of the Ospreys last night in the Liberty stadium.
Led by Rhys Ruddock a much changed Leinster side struggled to get any rythnm to their game inside the opening period and were 20-0 down after twenty minutes.
The opening try of the game went to Rhys Webb after the Ospreys took advantage from a Leinster turnover to break away and send him over after just 93 seconds of play. Dan Bigger, who would be a tormentor of Leinster for the whole game added the extras.
Try as they might Leinster could not impose themselves on the game. Sloppy mistakes were a feature of the first half, sloppy mistakes that were ruthlessly punished by the home side, which led to the second try of the game when Hanno Dirksen slid over past David Kearney’s tackle in the corner.
With Bigger continuing to pull the strings for the Ospreys Leinster found it hard to gain a foot hold in the game. Coming to end of half time they looked to be building some momentum until a sloppy turnover and some quick thinking on the part of the Ospreys led to the third try of the game when Webb cleverly exploited space in the Leinster defence, play a sweet chip, which was met by Justin Tipuric, who raced onto the ball for try number three.
In the second period Leinster tried to force their way back into the game and were unlucky not to get a try when the TMO ruled against Kevin McLaughlin, who was busy all night, when he looked to have got over.
From then on the game as a contest was over and the Ospreys never really looked like losing their grip on the match.
Taken in context Leinster will have been disappointed to lose in the manner that they did, however the team, missing 14 front line internationals, will strip a lot better when they meet the Dragons at the RDS next Friday night.
OSPREYS SCORERS: Rhys Webb (1 try), Hanno Dirksen (1 try), Justin Tipuric (1 try), Dan Biggar (3 conversions, 1 penalty, 1 drop goal)
LEINSTER SCORERS: Mat Berquist (1 penalty)
OSPREYS: R Fussell; K Phillips, A Bishop, A Beck, H Dirksen; D Biggar, R Webb; D Jones, M Davies, C Griffiths, I Gough, I Evans, T Smith, J Tipuric CAPTAIN, J Thomas.
REPLACEMENTS: M Dwyer, K Dowding, J Rees, J King, M Allen, T Isaacs, M Morgan, S Parker.
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Fionn Carr
13: Eoin O’Malley
12: Luke Fitzgerald (Brendan Macken, 57)
11: David Kearney
10: Mat Berquist (Ian Madigan, 52)
9: John Cooney (Cillian Willis, half-time)
1: Heinke van der Merwe (Jack O’Connell, 77)
2: Richardt Strauss (Aaron Dundon, 68)
3: Jamie Hagan (Jack McGrath, 57)
4: Damian Browne (Mark Flanagan, 57)
5: Devin Toner
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN (Leo Auva’a, 62)
REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Gwyn Morris, Jon Mason (both WRU), TMO: Neill Ballard (WRU)