Leinster give Cardiff a dose of the blues

Updated: January 7, 2012

Leinster maintained their unbeaten run in the Rabo Pro12 with a narrow 23-19 against the Cardiff Blues on Saturday evening.

Two tries from Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney gave Leinster the perfect start, however Joe Schmidt and his coaching staff will be concerned with the lack of discipline, particularly in the second half.

Leinster got off to the prefect start,when O’Brien latched onto a wonderfully time off load from captain Jamie Heaslip set the ‘Tullow Tank’ free to give the Heineken Cup champions an early lead.

That lead was doubled five minutes later when Kearney skipped past a non existent Cardiff defence to give Leinster a 14-0 after only 12 minutes.

The home side came back into the game thanks in part to a lot of ill discipline from Leinster. Leigh Halfpenny kicked three penalties in a row which brought them to within five points of Leinster.

The league leaders suffered a blow on the stroke of halftime when centre Gordon D’Arcy, who was lively in patches, was forced off with what looked a heavy enough knock.

Jonny Sexton eased some of the pressure on his side when he kicked a penalty right on the 40th minute mark which gave Leinster a 17-9 lead at the interval.

Sexton increased the lead further just after the break and the game looked safe enough from a Leinster point of view.

However Cardiff came battling back into the game and the boot of Halfpenny kept them within touching of Leinster, who were guilty of giving away cheap penalties which allowed Cardiff back in.

Cardiff eventually got their reward for all their hard work on the hour mark, when Jenkins somehow managed to ground the ball amongst a sea of bodies. The ref went up to the TMO, who confirmed the score which brought the game to within a point.

The home side had their collective tails up and took the game to Leinster. Halfpenny should have put Cardiff into the lead but somehow pulled his penalty wide when it seemed easier to score.

A Fergus McFadden penalty pushed Leinster a little further ahead, however they were left hanging on to the death with only some stout defence from the away side keeping Cardiff out.

At the final whistle Leinster just abut held on. They escaped with a win but will again have to step up another level with two huge Heineken Cup games coming up in the next two weekends.

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