5-try Le­in­ster cut loose to leave Kings point­less

The Rugby Paper - - Guinness Pro14 - ■ By AN­DRE JA­COBS

THREE tries in a dev­as­tat­ing 12-minute spell af­ter half-time eased Le­in­ster to their third bonus point win of the sea­son as they went back top of the PRO14 Con­fer­ence B with vic­tory over South­ern Kings at Port El­iz­a­beth.

Noel Reid, Rory O’Lough­lin, Jack Co­nan, Joey Car­bery and Dave Kearney all touched down for Leo Cullen’s side who con­tin­ued their bril­liant start to the sea­son.

But Jacques Nel was the only try scorer for South­ern Kings, who suf­fered their third de­feat from three, and they are yet to regis­ter even a los­ing bonus point in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Cullen had sym­pa­thy for his hosts, who im­proved from their open­ing two games, but were still dom­i­nated by last sea­son’s semi-finalists.

“It must be an un­be­liev­ably tough chal­lenge for them, to think they only got a team to­gether a cou­ple of weeks be­fore the tour­na­ment starts with­out any pre-sea­son ef­fec­tively,” said Cullen.

“They’re def­i­nitely mak­ing good progress week by week from what I saw two weeks ago against Scarlets to what I saw to­day.”

The for­mer Su­per Rugby out­fit made a fast start and full-back Masixole Banda kicked an early penalty, but Le­in­ster hit back in the ninth minute. Reid touched down on his re­turn from in­jury and Ross Byrne’s con­ver­sion gave Le­in­ster a 7-3 half-time lead.

But Le­in­ster ex­ploded into the se­cond-half – O’Lough­lin scored af­ter just three min­utes and Co­nan quickly added a third try.

South­ern Kings were reel­ing and Car­bery took full ad­van­tage when he forced his way over in the 52nd minute for the cru­cial bonus point try.

Dave Kearney scored a fifth Le­in­ster try eight min­utes from time and South­ern Kings dot­ted down a con­so­la­tion through re­place­ment Nel in the 76th minute.

South­ern Kings’ coach Deon Davids ad­mit­ted his side were well beaten. “Ob­vi­ously you’ve got to give ac­co­lades to Le­in­ster, they re­ally kept us be­hind the ad­van­tage line and put us un­der huge pres­sure,” said Davids

“Our goal next week is to put on a good show, and to en­sure that we just build on the stuff that we need to im­prove on.”

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