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Leinster rally to see off Scarlets

jmcconnell 11 Apr 2006

Leinster cemented their place on the top of the Celtic League but only after producing a second half comeback against the Llanelli Scarlets at Lansdowne Road.

The result extended the Dubliners’ impressive record at the home of Irish rugby where they have now won six out of six.

Tries from Cameron Jowitt, Brian Blaney, Guy Easterby and Girvan Dempsey along with ten points from the boot of influential Argentinian fly-half Felipe Contepomi proved enough to carry them to victory despite having been 19-7 down at half-time.

Iestyn Thomas, Lee Thomas and Gavin Byrne crossed for tries to put the Scarlets in control in the first half but they failed to capitalise after the break and were punished by their hosts.

The Scarlets opened the socring after only eight minutes when a lineout maul saw Iestyn Thomas grab his first try in three seasons before Ceiron Thomas added the extras.

Leinster rallied with Jowitt grabbing his first Celtic League try on the quarter hour after Gordon D’Arcy has created the space by breaking the defensive line. Contepomi slotted the conversion to tie the scores.

Byrne’s score followed to give the Scarlets the advantage again and the conversion from Thomas and a further score from flanker Gavin Thomas in the corner put the visitors firmly in control.

The mis-firing Leinster found their stride after the break and after a penalty from Contepomi their cause was helped further when the Scarlets’ Alix Popham was yelow-carded after 51 minutes.

Leinster took control of the game with successive tries for hooker Blaney and former Llanelli scrum-half
Easterby.

Contepomi converted the latter score for a 22-19 lead but the Scarlets pulled level again with a penalty of their own from Thomas.

Contepomi kicked another penalty to make it 25-22, before Leinster sealed the win and bagged a bonus point when a Denis Hickie kick ahead eluded Dafydd James, and full-back Dempsey claimed the loose ball to pocket the try.

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