URC: Leinster v Edinburgh: visitors fail to turn possession into points

Sean Everitt's side come up short against an inexperienced hosts who were missing their World Cup contingent

Boan Venter scored Edinburgh's third and final try against Leinster. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Boan Venter scored Edinburgh's third and final try against Leinster. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Leinster 36

Edinburgh 27


EDINBURGH’S quest for a first win in Dublin since 2005 continues after they lacked the accuracy to trouble an understrength Leinster side at the RDS.

Sean Everitt’s men had enough possession to make it three wins in a row in the URC but they didn’t have the precision to make it count.

Instea,  Leinster’s inexperienced side had far too much craft for the Scots who lacked the penetration to make possession count and left empty-handed.

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The experience of props Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel gave Edinburgh an edge in the scrums in the opening half but Leinster looked far more dangerous in broken play with Tommy O’Brien and Jordan Larmour offering plenty of threat out wide and by the interval they had six linebreaks to nil.

A penalty from Ben Healy, back playing in Ireland for the first time since his summer move to the Scottish capital, from 42 metres after a no-arms tackle by his former Munster teammate Jason Jenkins was a poor reward for their early possession and Leinster, backed by the blustery wind, made them pay.

A good turnover by Tommy O’Brien ended with a five-metre line-out after a good touch from Harry Byrne and while the line-out was far from clean, hooker Lee Barron barged through scrum-half Charlie Shiel to score a converted try after 21 minutes.

Leinster built on that opening try and while Charlie Ngatai was held up, a succession of penalties resulted in a yellow card for Edinburgh lock Glen Young nine minutes from the break and after a tapped penalty where Barron was stopped short, a quick recycle saw Max Deegan bust over, with Byrne adding the extras.

Healy cut the gap with his second penalty four minutes from the break when he converted from 35 metres. But Leinster pulled away before the break when Byrne’s looping pass put Ciaran Frawley over for his first try in 16 months to lead it 21-6 at the interval.

Edinburgh, similar to the start of the game, failed to make possession count after the restart and it was Leinster who wrapped up the bonus point and secured the win after 52 minutes when Barron, after a superb turnover in midfield, supplied the decisive pass a few phases later for O’Brien to race down the right and cut in to score under the posts, with Byrne’s conversion making it 28-6.

Edinburgh hit back within a minute when replacement James Lang got over after good work from Blair Kinghorn and Shiel, with Healy’s convert reducing the margin to 28-11.

The game became disjointed as both sides emptied their benches but it was Leinster who struck again when No 8 James Culhane got his first try after a good drive from a line=out in the left corner after 58 minutes.

That left Edinburgh trailing by 33-13 but they got a lifeline 13 minutes from time when Connor Boyle finished off a line-out in the left corner, with Healy’s excellent conversion bringing them to within 13.

That prompted Sam Prendergast to go for the posts and take the points from a 35 metre penalty nine minutes from the end but Edinburgh set up a tight finish when Boan Venter managed to ground the ball after Shiel was stopped short, with Healy continuing his flawless kicking to get within nine but they never looked like a fourth try or a bonus point as Leinster held on to the ball in the closing minutes.


Teams – 

Leinster: C Frawley; T O’Brien, J Osborne, C Ngatai, J Larmour; H Byrne, C Foley; J Boyle, L Barron, M Ala’alatoa, R Molony, J Jenkins, M Deegan, S Penny, J Culhane. Subs used: D Donnellan, P McCarthy, R McGuire, B Deeny, R Ruddock, B Murphy, S Prendergast, R Russell.

Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; W Goosen, M Benntt, M Currie, D van der Merwe; B Healy, C Shiel; P Schoeman, D Cherry, WP Nel, G Young, G Gilchrist. T Dodd, H Watson, L Crosbie. Subs used: E Ashman, B Venter, J Sebastian, M Sykes, C Boyle, J Lang, C Dean.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)


Scorers – 

Leinster: Tries: L Barron, M Deegan, C Frawley, T O’Brien, J Culhane; Cons: H Byrne 4; Pen: S Prendergast.

Edinburgh: Tries: J Lang, C Boyle, B Venter; Cons: B Healy 3; Pens: Healy 2.

Scoring sequence: (Leinster first): 0-3; 5-3; 7-3; 12-3; 14-3; 14-6; 19-6; 21-6 (h-t) 26-6;  28-6; 28-11; 28-13; 33-13; 33-18; 33-20; 36-20; 36-25; 36-27.


Yellow card –

Edinburgh: Young (31 mins)

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  1. The issue is the attack – the pack did well. The back 3 will be awesome but we just can’t get the attack moving. Sadly despite losing the set piece battle Leinster looked way more dangerous with ball in hand. We need to give Healy a chance and he is way better than the other options. I yjink Kinghorn is becoming a dangerous 15 my worry is 12 and 13 I’m a big Bennett fan but its just not working and its the centre’s that are the issue.

    • I just feel Kinghorn is such an overrated player. Whenever I watch him …his passing is terrible….his defense is terrible…he is a liability under a high ball (truly bizarre for a player 6′ 5″ ish) …His kicking is average at best…He looks dangerous only with ball in hand with a gap…he has great pace. He is probably better positioned to be a winger…but his defense would no doubt cost him a place in any top test side.

  2. Duhan costs more tries than he scores. Hate to say it but at the top level he’s a liability. GT will keep picking him tho. Healy is never ever going to be a 10 at any sort of decent level. It’s hilarious that people think he’s cover for Finn or even should be starting for us. Every Irish fan I’ve spoken to is wetting themselves that we spent cash on someone who can kick the ball hard but has no other skill set to speak of. How can we compete long term or even short term when we block our own players from playing by bringing other countries cast offs??

    • Rugby Fan – Wow you’ve really got it in for Healy!

      You ask the question “How can we compete long term or even short term when we block our own players from playing by bringing other countries cast offs??”

      The first half of that question, “How can we compete long term or even short term…?” I think we are all wondering that. But looking at Ireland, even with their incredible conveyor belt of talent, four of their starting backs in RWC were not “Irish” – Lowe/Aki/Hansen/Gibson-Park, yet it was felt by the IRU they would improve the team /squad.

      As for Healy, his Mum is Scottish is that not Scottish enough for you?!! He may or may not go on to be a great player for Edinburgh/Scotland but let’s give the lad a chance? You haven’t seemed minded to do that from day 1.

      • So right, as long as I remember we played played players with Scottish parents/ grandparents, nothing new. Of course I envy the Irish system and we can learn from it but we can’t compare the 2 countries. Rugby is their main professional sport and main winter sport, we all know what we contend with.
        We have done really well over the last number of years, being competitive and playing a brand of rugby that fills Murrayfield. I worry about the future but there are some good young lads about and sometimes I wish our pro coaches would take a risk with them but it’s a result based business and you soon hear about it on this platform when any of our professional teams lose 😂🐻

      • have a prediction! Maybe two! Healy will be sorely missed by the IRFU in the longer term. He will replace Russell as Scotland’s number one pick at ten.

        He is already the best kicker out of our out-half options.

    • Rugby Fan…are you a Rugby Fan? Your post sounds bitter.

      Russell has some critical flaws at Test level…his kicking rate is often not at the desired level and he often lacks focus at critical moments. His other qualities out weigh that tho. Healy isn’t as good a passer and doesnt see the openings at the same speed as Russell. His kicking is superb though..he looks a leader…and Scotland definitely need that ..and his passing is improving. We’ll see how he develops…the signs are good imo

      Who cares how the Irish gather their humor? The day they stop being sanctimonious about their rugby and actually make it past a World Cup QF …maybe I’ll stop chuckling at them.

    • Some previous posters have said all the Irish fans they know were disappointed Healy was leaving Munster. So don’t use “Irish Fans” to try and back up your opinion. You seem to have some grudge against Healy yet he is Scottish qualified via his mother and who do else do you suggest starts for Edinburgh. He played well in the first 2 games, not so good yesterday but overall he will be a good addition to Edinburgh.

      • Any coverage on Irish TV that I’ve seen has suggested that Healy’s move was Ireland’s loss and Scotland’s gain. His place kicking has been excellent, though he has been a bit over-ambitious with some of his kicking from hand though. He’s still young and I think will develop into a really good asset for Edinburgh and Scotland.

  3. Really disappointing performance. Yet again you convince yourself that on paper the Edinburgh team is stronger than Leinster so this should be the day. But no it wasn’t, despite being slightly ahead in territory and possession and doing OK in the set piece after that Leinster were so much sharper. Our forwards were almost a full international pack yet we failed to dominate. The defence of the Leinster line out maul try was appalling.

    Most worrying for me was the back play. Leinster looked so much slicker when they had the ball and were able to move the ball around with pace finding space we couldn’t. When we had the ball it was ponderous and slow and the backs struggled to find space. Why such a difference? It seems we are playing a very basic game in the backs with no dummy runners or balls out the back, we are just passing along the line which rarely gives you space. I assume this is planned perhaps until really is up to speed? but then he has been with them a few weeks now. But overall the backs were poor with Healy despite his penalty kicks being error strewn.

    The one shining light was Charlie Shiel who showed what a great runner he is close to the ruck, he made several breaks on which led to a try and always looked dangerous. Surely deserves more starts based on this showing

  4. No balance to centres 2 clear 13s playing. (Funny as 2 12s on rhe benvh) Healy did not play well but guys inside and outside him didn’t help matters.
    Still no sure why Cammy Hutchison was released and given Healys signing a ball playing 12 should’ve been targeted (Redpath?)
    Leinster are expertly coached and play pretty simple rugby very very well. You vant say that about Edinburgh presently

    • They did look so much more balanced when Lang came on, likewise, I don’t understand why neither Lang nor Deans started. Healy is a solid 10 that will improve, but would benefit from that second 10/12 outside him in Lang to help his game develop.

      Gotta put this down to Everitt getting to know his players, and new systems etc…. at times they did look as though they hadn’t played together before….

  5. Well, this illustrates where Edinburgh is in the pecking order.
    This was close to a full Leinster 2nd XV, with a smattering of under 21’s thrown in, who put Edinburgh to the sword in the first half, game over.
    An Edinburgh team packed with experienced international players, who managed to produce basic error compounded by basic error, throwing in inaccurate rugger all over the park.
    My goodness, Duhan’s defending would not even stand up to scrutiny in the Super 6, will he ever learn this part of his game, it would seem not, opposition coaches have him sussed out I’m afraid, easy pickings here.
    I know it’s early season, but the same for Leinster with a bunch of inexperienced youngsters, so well done them, could we learn something here?

    Edinburgh, get in a huddle and have a serious talk with yourselves, be honest with each other, if you continue in this vein your gonna have a tough time in the URC?

    • I think Rowe and Steyn would be the best wing options for Scotland …DVDM and Graham are defensive liabilities time and time again.

      • You are so right in your assessment, but many fans have a hard time accepting this.

        There was a reason why VDM wasn’t re-signed in France.

        Every other national side on this planet is aware go his defensive frailties.

      • On current form I would say Steyn and Graham are the best wing options for Scotland, with Rowe on the bench to cover. However, Steyn is injured and out until the 6N at least (but could miss it) so I think Rowe should absolutely take his place in the squad.

  6. Disappointing.
    We dug deep into the bag of ways to give the ball, position and points away today. It’s all very well having some stardust in the back three, but there were continuing problems transferring the ball to them. The structure in the centre looks to have a lack of pace, guile and accuracy – things picked up when changes were made but after Leinster went to their bench too. We need to concentrate on righting what was going wrong in the first half and forgetting the supposed second half ‘fight back’ against Leinster 3rd-4th XV when they had their subs on and had the game in their pocket. Even then, with two scores needed in 15 mins, we donated yet another dumb penalty to kick stretch it to three scores.
    BK back to stand off.

  7. Hard to escape the fact that this was a near as makes no difference Leinster’s second team. By crude comparison Edinburgh have some way to go to meet the early standards set by Glasgow or to challenge for honours in this tough league. Worrying with Boffelli injured until the new year.

  8. DWM’s lack of even basic defensive awareness and positioning is shocking to see week in week out for club and country. He did a good imitation of a statue for one try, came charging out of the line to be simply lobbed by the scoring pass and does it again by cutting in and leaves his opposite man a simple sprint in. In the week he was awarded a well deserved best individual try and had a trade mark storming run today unfortunately he is a defensive liability and shows no sign of improving either.

    • Who are you dropping him for? Would you leave him out of the 23?

      Important to remember it’s his first game back, under a new defensive system and coach. Against Leinster.

      • Duhan should be nowhere near the Scotland squad on current form. A couple of individual moments aside, he just isn’t a well rounded international level winger. He was getting outdone by a scrumhalf playing on the wing against Ireland.

        Graham and Steyn have consistently proved to be our best wingers at club and country for a while now.

        As for Edinburgh, the best back three would be Graham, Boffelli (when fully fit) and Kinghorn. Duhan could do a job against lesser teams but feel that he needs to be relegated to the bench for a while.

      • @Lewis

        You’d think that he would’ve been shown, listened, taught and know his shortcomings. He just doesn’t seem interested in applying rugby knowledge to the defensive side of his game.

      • Unfortunately he does not possess a “rugby brain” probably because he just ran through people all through school etc. South Africans are very good judge of players and they were happy to let him go as they knew that he does not have the all round skills required at this level. Remember also he was quite happy to leave Edinburgh to chase the money although they gave him a second chance after his failure in France. He is a show pony and I also agree with other posters that the best Edinburgh and Scotland back 3 do not include him.

    • Not sure he had much choice there, there was a two on one, rather than just watch them pass past him he stepped in, only sensible choice to me and they only just got it over his head .. more worrying was why we were a man down, persistent offside in defence, the guys should be smarter than that.

  9. Mistakes mistakes mistakes. Without those perhaps we could have been in with a shout.

    Worry to think what the score would have been against the real Leinster

    Couple of ref comments ..

    Yesterday Glasgow didn’t get the ball when jumping to stop a kick to touch from off the field of play. Leinster get away with it.
    Line out we are penalised for forwards lining up to push before the jumper lands … Leinster get away with it, and of course score. Hmmmmm

    • I’m in agreement with two of your points for sure, thougt ref had green glasses on for most of it, but he probably got sick of Edinburghs stupid penalties ( these are experienced internationals giving away dumb pen after dumb pen ) … so disappointing as this was one they could’ve…indeed should of won. Need to shape up and get smart very quickly. And to say Healys kicking was great misses his out of hand loopy work yesterday 🤷‍♂️ Hoping for better 🫣

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