Leinster Rugby maintained their five-point lead at the top of Guinness PRO14 Conference B courtesy of a well-judged 31-3 bonus point win over Benetton Rugby at Stadio di Monigo.

Seán O’Brien captained Leo Cullen’s men back to winning ways following last Sunday’s Champions Cup loss to Toulouse.

Man-of-the-match Jamison Gibson-Park was the controller-in-chief in a scrappy contest which was played in slippery conditions in Treviso. Leinster took their chances well to lead 12-3 at half-time thanks to tries from Adam Byrne and James Tracy.

Antonio Rizzi’s 24th-minute penalty proved to be Benetton’s only score, and replacements Conor O’Brien and Andrew Porter – with their first and second senior tries for Leinster respectively – had the bonus point secured by the hour mark. Joe Tomane was rewarded late on with his maiden try in Leinster blue.

The Italians fell behind when failing to deal with a dangerous kick from wily scrum-half Gibson-Park. Onrushing winger Adam Byrne swooped in to gather the ball and touch down in the right corner. Ross Byrne missed the conversion and Benetton gained grounded amid some forward-dominated phases, which included a penalty against Max Deegan for a high tackle.

The hosts pressed from their lineout maul in the corner, with Adam Byrne also having to react smartly to deny Jayden Hayward. They missed out on the try they craved and had to settle for a penalty goal from out-half Rizzi. Reacting to this concession, Leinster hit back with their second try within five minutes.

A well-executed lineout maul propelled hooker Tracy over the whitewash with Ross Byrne adding the extras. It was a strong finish to a stop-start first half, with the province showing the greater control of possession and taking their scoring chances when they arose.

A foot in touch denied Tracy a second try but Leinster held onto the momentum early in the second period. Mullingar man O’Brien showed his strength to power over the line in the 49th minute from a Gibson-Park feed off a scrum. Ross Byrne converted and also expertly curled over the extras after powerhouse Porter had picked and crashed over just seven minutes after his introduction.

The bonus point score came from the forwards pounding away at the home defence via turnover ball, but the Leinster backs had the final say five minutes from the end. Australian international Tomane opened his try-scoring account for the province, collecting a lovely chip through from Noel Reid, Ross Byrne’s replacement at number 10.

Leinster Rugby returns to the RDS Arena to take on Ospreys on 23 November. Tickets are on sale now from €25/10.

Leinster v Ospreys