Leinster made it two pre-season wins out of two under new head coach Leo Cullen as they ran in ten tries to record a comprehensive 68-0 victory over Moseley at Donnybrook…
Moseley were familiar opponents for a number of players in the province's starting line-up as they have previously played Leinster 'A' in the British & Irish Cup – and will do so again this season. In addition, their current director of rugby is Kevin Maggs, who amassed an impressive tally of 70 caps with Ireland during a memorable playing career.
However, under the watchful eyes of Joe Schmidt and his Ireland coaching staff, Leinster opened the scoring with just three minutes on the clock. The hosts had developed several attacking phases in the opening exchanges and even though Moseley held firm initially, left winger Mick McGrath powered through a gap for a fine individual try.
This was the perfect tonic for Leinster in front of an enthusiastic home crowd and full-back Isa Nacewa, making his first home appearance since returning to the province, added the first conversion of the night.
The visitors briefly forced Leinster onto the back foot following the concession of these early points, but after they turned over Moseley on their own 22, Leinster doubled their lead in the 14th minute. Out-half Cathal Marsh opted for touch rather than the posts when referee Peter Fitzgibbon awarded a a close range penalty, and flanker Dan Leavy touched down in powerful fashion from the resulting lineout maul.
From a trickier angle, Nacewa was once again on target with his conversion attempt, and he also forced Moseley winger Ed Sheldon into touch on the 20-minute mark. The former Fiji international was warmly received by the Leinster fans throughout the first half and following some superb approach work by Colm O'Shea, Marsh and Mick McGrath, he raced through for Leinster's third converted try.
That meant that the Blues had a 21-0 interval lead and as a consequence, they were able to introduce a multitude of replacements on the restart. Current internationals Fergus McFadden, Isaac Boss and Jack Conan were among those given a chance to shine against the English Championship outfit. Just four minutes into the second period, Conan added to his name to the scoresheet with an excellent pushover try.
Nacewa was one of the few starters who emerged for the closing 40 minutes, and he contributed a fourth successful conversion with relative ease. Indeed, he also added two more points to his personal haul eight minutes later when Conan dotted down under the posts after St. Mary's College duo Darragh Fanning and Marsh had combined effectively.
It was turning into a damage limitation exercise for Moseley as the play progressed, but in spite of the best efforts of their under-pressure defence, Tadhg Beirne was on hand to register Leinster's sixth try – just moments after his introduction into the second row in place of Mike McCarthy.
Owing to the 56th minute withdrawal of Nacewa, McFadden took over the kicking duties. He made no mistake with his first kick at the posts, and he also converted a penalty try 16 minutes from the end.
McFadden was eager to make an impression with the Rugby World Cup squad selection just days away and courtesy of neat lay-off from fellow Kildare man Adam Byrne, he crossed in the left corner for a 70th minute score.
The Old Belvedere clubman was narrowly wide with the difficult conversion, but he bounced back with a brace of successful kicks following tries from Josh van der Flier and Fanning in the closing moments of the game. All in all, a dominant performance which gives Cullen and Leinster some winning momentum to take into next Friday's GUINNESS PRO12 opener away to Edinburgh.
REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)