Leinster continued their good recent run of form with an emphatic bonus point 43-20 victory over Saracens in Saturday afternoon’s Heineken Cup Round 5 clash at a windswept RDS…O’Brien & Cullen Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Heineken Man of the Match Sean O'Brien said: "We started very well and it kind of kicked on from there and we're pretty happy with the result because we knew that they'd come back strong, which they did.
"It was very windy out there and it was a pretty good performance considering the conditions. We had said during the week that we needed to be positive out there and we were. It was pleasing to win in front of that incredible support again."
Leinster Captain Leo Cullen added: "We knew that Saracens were going to be very dangerous and it was important that our discipline was good and thankfully we didn't give away too many penalties.
"Our form has been consistent of late and we're pretty happy where we are (in the group). The support that we're getting is phenomenal."
The Blues led 22-12 at half-time and extended their advantage in the second half with an impressive display of fast, aggressive rugby in the face of a stubborn and determined Saracens effort.
O'Brien, continuing his excellent recent run of form, kicked off proceedings with Leinster's opening try after 6 minutes when he took a Richardt Strauss pass after some lovely hands from full-back Isa Nacewa. Though Jonathan Sexton's conversion attempt fell wide of the posts he would make amends five minutes later when converting Dominic Ryan's try with Nacewa again and Eoin Reddan prominent in the build up.
Sexton added a 28th minute penalty to make it 15-7 after Saracens winger James Short scored, with Owen Farrell adding the points four minutes previously. Then when Scotland international Kelly Brown struck in the 33rd minute Leinster's lead was a slender three points, Ryan's second try of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time after a wonderful Shane Jennings offload which Sexton again converted, made it 22-12 to the hosts at the interval.
Fergus McFadden's 51st minute try extended the lead further in a move which exemplified the team dynamic as Strauss, Reddan, Shane Horgan, Sexton and the industrious Brian O'Driscoll were all involved in the build up. Sexton's successful two-pointer made it 29-12 and before long the home support was sent into ecstasy when Isa Nacewa weaved his way past the Saracens defence after some good work from O'Brien and O'Driscoll.
Substitute Eoin O'Malley added the icing on the cake with a breakaway effort in the 62nd minute, which Sexton slotted home and though Saracens full-back Nils Mordt struck late, Leinster were more than deserving winners on a satisfying afternoon for the Blues.
LEINSTER SCORERS: D. Ryan (2 tries), S. O'Brien, F. McFadden, I. Nacewa, E. O'Malley (1 try each), J. Sexton (5 conversions, 1 penalty)
SARACENS SCORERS: J. Short, K. Brown, N. Mordt (1 try each), O. Farrell (1 penalty, 1 conversion)
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Shane Horgan (Eoin O'Malley, 60)
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Fergus McFadden
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Jonathan Sexton (Ian Madigan, 69)
9: Eoin Reddan (Isaac Boss, 66)
1: Cian Healy (Heinke van der Merwe, 66)
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Mike Ross (Clint Newland, 66)
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Nathan Hines (Devin Toner, 60)
6: Dominic Ryan
7: Shane Jennings (Kevin McLaughlin, 66)
8: Sean O'Brien
REPLACEMENT NOT USED: Jason Harris-Wright
15: Nils Mordt
14: David Strettle
13: Michael Tagicakibau
12: Brad Barritt
11: James Short
10: Owen Farrell
9: Richard Wigglesworth
1: Rhys Gill
2: Schalk Brits
3: Carlos Nieto
4: Steve Borthwick CAPTAIN
5: Hugh Vyvyan
6: Kelly Brown
7: Andy Saull
8: Ernst Joubert
16: Jamie George
17: Jared Saunders
18: Petrus du Plessis
19: Hayden Smith
20: Justin Melck
21: Neil de Kock
22: Gavin Henson
23: Noah Cato
REFEREE: Romain Poite (FFR), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Laurent Cardona, Patrick Pechambert (both FFR), 4th OFFICIAL: Brian MacNeice (IRFU), 5th OFFICIAL: Ed Kenny (IRFU), TMO: Jean-Christophe Gastou (FFR)