Leinster Rugby kicked off their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a 45-20 win over Bath Rugby at a cold Aviva Stadium.

There were seven tries on the afternoon, a brace for Jamison Gibson-Park, and one each for Tadhg Furlong – the Heineken Star of the Match – James Lowe, Hugo Keenan, Josh van der Flier and Rónan Kelleher.

Three Leinster players also made European debuts for the province with Michael Ala’alatoa, Dan Sheehan and Tommy O’Brien introduced from the bench.

The English club came into this rooted to the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership without a single win from nine rounds of rugby.

Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper also handed out a half-dozen European Cup debuts in a selection ravaged by injury.

They were first on the scoreboard when van der Flier drifted offside for Orlando Bailey to strike from the left in the third minute.

Leinster weren’t taken aback by falling behind though, Gibson-Park starting and finishing a quick attack in which Ciarán Frawley, Garry Ringrose and Lowe took a hand in the move for 5-3 in the fifth minute.

Andrew Porter secured a penalty on the floor and the front row forced another at the scrum, Ross Byrne pushing them towards the 22.

A textbook lineout-maul drew another infringement, Byrne’s line kick guaranteeing a prime attacking position..

Three lineouts later, Rhys Ruddock came onto the ball at pace and Furlong steamed in for the second try, Byrne converting for 12-3 in the 13th minute.

Bailey was back for three more points after the restart.

A neck roll by hooker Jacques du Toit on van der Flier meant more front-foot stuff from the hosts, Kelleher making the initial gain.

Gibson-Park provided the speedy service and Keenan’s offload allowed Lowe to score the third, Byrne converting for 19-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Once again, Leinster’s reaction to the restart offered Bailey an unsuccessful shot at the posts when Porter failed to roll away at a ruck.

The next time Bath tested referee Pierre Brousset, flanker Richard de Carpentier was shown a yellow card.

The lineout was the platform for Kelleher, van der Flier and Furlong to grind out the metres, Lowe slipping Keenan in for the bonus-point with a sumptuous short ball, Byrne adding two more points.

Jordan Larmour almost controlled Gibson-Park’s chip for another before the scrum-half scampered over from Lowe’s counter and the continuity of Kelleher and Byrne.

However, Bath had a trick up their sleeve at the front of a lineout, Josh Bayliss putting hooker du Toit through for a fine try, Bailey converting for 33-13 in the 38th minute.

It was almost improved upon when Bailey’s kick was taken on by Max Ojomoh, but wing Will Muir was wrestled to the ground by van der Flier to close the half.

Leinster came out looking to press the action again only to falter at the first scrum.

They had to start from deeper. Byrne found Larmour with a crossfield kick. Porter’s pounding run put de Carpentier on his backside.

It wasn’t long before van der Flier’s burst was trumped by Kelleher’s explosive ground devouring finish for Byrne to tack on the conversion.

The Blues had to survive a maul from a five-metre lineout to keep rolling forward from Byrne’s line kicks and Gibson-Park’s box bomb.

An immediate impact by Sheehan, breaking away from a maul, created the momentum for van der Flier to splash down on the left, Byrne topping it up for 45-13 in the 58th minute.

Frawley split the defence to get in behind but the cohesion wasn’t quite there to turn it into something more valuable.

Cian Healy’s pass between his legs was a highlight near the end.

Max Deegan stepped in for a turnover penalty in front of the posts the next time Bath came knocking. Devin Toner’s lineout work was the platform for Frawley’s incision and further positive carries from Ryan Baird and Sheehan.

Larmour twice came close to an interception, the second nibble judged to be a penalty concession for Gabriel Hamer-Webb to shoot between defenders for a deserved try, converted by Bailey.

It was a late reminder of how Leinster will have to be better in Montpellier on Friday evening.