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Rugby

14th Dec 2019

Ringrose and Larmour untouchable as Leinster chew up Northampton

Patrick McCarry

Garry Ringrose

LEINSTER 50-21 NORTHAMPTON

Leinster are on course for a home quarter final and No.1 seeding in the Champions Cup knock-out stages after thumping Northampton Saints for the second time in seven days.

Leinster found themselves 14-0 up after only seven minutes as Garry Ringrose scored two lightning quick tries. Ross Byrne converted both of those early scores and added a penalty before Northampton showed signs of life with a Dan Biggar try.

That score did little to daunt Leinster and on they came. Saints were conceding penalty upon penalty and were down to 14 men when Tadhg Furlong powered over from close range. They failed to get the tryscoring bonus point when Northampton were reduced to 13 men but Dave Kearney ensured they would be waiting too long for the extras.

Ollie Sleightholme got over for Saints second try, just before half-time, and there was evidence of a pulse, albeit feint.

Garry Ringrose scores one of his three tries against Northampton. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

The second half followed a similar pattern, with James Lowe getting in on the scoring action and Ringrose completing his hat-trick of tries. He scored a trio against Treviso earlier in the group stages and was the lightning rod for the four-time European champs.

Ahsee Tuala got over for Saints’ third try and opened up the possibility of leaving Dublin with a try-scoring bonus point that could just about keep their European hopes alive. Leinster were not finished themselves, however, and Caelan Doris’ oh-so-simple try after 67 minutes highlighted the gulf between the two sides.

There was still time for Jordan Larmour, who had another fine game at fullback, to leave half the Saints’ XV for dead with a slaloming run full of mischievous side-steps:

At 7:09pm, the final whistle put Saints out of their absolute misery. The Premiership leaders were humbled at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend and this outing was worse again.

The only issues that may arise from this fixture were Ross Byrne leaving the field after 48 minutes, after picking up a leg injury, and James Ryan being somewhat reckless with this first half ruck clear-out:

As it stands, Leinster are up to 19 points and guaranteed of reaching the last eight already. They have won 11 games in a row, this season, and are looking in imperious form.

They have three inter-provincial games over the festive period and, who knows, they may finally be tested in one of those outings.

OUR MAN OF THE MATCH: Garry Ringrose (Leinster)

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Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble are joined in the House of Rugby studio by Jerry Flannery to look back on all the latest Champions Cup action. Rory Best also drops in for a chat with Jerry.

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