Leinster produced a strong second performance to seal a determined 31-10 victory over the Dragons in the RaboDirect PRO 12 encounter in the RDS on Friday night… Nacewa Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Man of the Match Isa Nacewa said: “It was hugely important that we won after our poor performance last week and we knew that we had to stand up and deliver.
“I thought that the boys were there when it counted and the challenge is now to build on that performance next week. It’s enjoyable to play in a game like that and it was significant that the flow of the game went our way.
“We’re off the bottom of the table and we knew that we’re going to face another stiff test against Glasgow next weekend.”
Leinster led 6-3 at half-time after a brace of Nacewa penalties on 6 and 30 minutes respectively, sndwiched in between a Jason Tovey strike after 11 minutes. But the hosts pulled away in the second half thanks to tries from Brendan Macken, Ian Madigan and Fionn Carr.
Man-of-the-match Nacewa kicked 14 points in all and was at the heart of Leinster’s most potent attacks alongside the likes of Carr who took his try after an impressive Leo Auva’a burst late on.
Jason Tovey scored a try, a penalty and a conversion for the Dragons who remain without a point after their opening two games of the new season.
Leinster got off to a sprightly start, Carr and David Kearney running hard at the Dragons’ defence before Nacewa clipped over a sixth-minute penalty. But it was in the second half when Leinster began to click with Carr working well for Macken’s try which involved a 40 metre sprint.
The only downside for Leinster was an injury to replacement Mat Berquist which will be assessed over the next 48 hours to determine the scale of the injury.
LEINSTER SCORERS: B. Macken, I. Madigan, F. Carr (1 try each), I. Nacewa (4 penalties, 2 conversions)
DRAGONS SCORER: J. Tovey (1 try, 1 penalty, 1 conversion)
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Fionn Carr
13: Brendan Macken
12: Eoin O’Malley
11: David Kearney (Darren Hudson, 69)
10: Ian Madigan (Mat Berquist, 55) (Jack O’Connell, 71)
9: Cillian Willis (John Cooney, 55)
1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss (Aaron Dundon, 64)
3: Jamie Hagan (Jack McGrath, 69)
4: Damian Browne (Mark Flanagan, 60)
5: Devin Toner
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN (Leo Auva’a, 60)
DRAGONS: Martyn Thomas; Adam Hughes, Tom Riley, Pat Leach, Mike Poole; Jason Tovey, Joe Bedford; Phil Price, Tom Willis CAPTAIN, Ben Castle, Adam Jones, Rob Sidoli, Andrew Coombs, Gavin Thomas, Hugo Ellis
REPLACEMENTS: Rhys Buckley for A Jones (64), Nathan Williams for Price (74), Dan Way for Castle (30), Lewis Evans for Bedford (52), Jevon Groves for Coombs (78), Wayne Evans for Ellis (52), Steffan Jones for Hughes (41), Jamie Smith for S Jones (58)
REFEREE: Andy Macpherson (SRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Michael Black, Richard Kerr (both IRFU), 4th OFFICIAL: Brian Montayne (Leinster Rugby Referees), 5th OFFICIAL: Aidan Fogarty (Leinster Rugby Referees), TMO: Tony Redmond (IRFU)