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Honours Even At Donnybrook

The first points came within the first minute. Directly from Leinster’s kick off, Cardiff Blues Number 8, USA Eagle Kort Schubert, was adjudged offside with the whistle going after just 12 seconds of play, and the home team’s stand off, David McAllister, slotted over from 46 metres.

It took 17 minutes for the first breach of the visitor’s defence, centre David Quinlan freeing John McWeeney, but the attack perished on the right wing.

A quarter of the game had passed before the Blues constructed their first threat, but terrific Leinster defence kept full-back Rhys Williams and the Cardiff Blues back line at bay, the move eventually petered out due to knock forward.

Five minutes later Cardiff conceded a penalty in whilst in attack, Leinster took a quick tap, Gary Brown gathered the ensuing chip and chase from Shane Jennings, then hacked on and followed up to touch down. However play was called back, Blues Nick Walne had done enough at the to cause Brown to knock-on, a decision that may have been considered harsh by some in the crowd.

Into injury time McAllister slotted over a difficult penalty for final points of the half awarded when Ben Evans slipped his binding at a scrum. The teams turned round with Leinster leading 6-0.

The Blues began second half with a storm, Nathan Thomas carrying the ball over the line but was held up. The Blues did get points on the board after 43 minutes Nick MacLeod slotting an easy penalty from 10 metres out, 6-3. The visitors’ superior scrummaging strength was starting to tell, although both teams struggled throughout the game in the line out and at set pieces.

Leinster had a great spell of pressure but were unable to turn it into points, and
The Blues struck back on their next attack, forcing the Leinster backs offside. MacLeod slotted over the penalty from 25 meteres to level the scores.

Leinster came right back from the restart, when Tristan Davies was penalised for holding on in a ruck, the kick was converted by replacement Brian O’Meara who had only been on the field for a matter of seconds, to take Leinster ahead again.

MacLeod once more levelled the scores on the hour, with another easy penalty shot after Leinster’s scrum infringed in front of the posts.

With just 5 minutes to go there was a bizarre incident when The Blues were given a penalty wide out right and replacement Lee Thomas lined up the kick at goal. He started his run up but was put off by a noise in the crowd. Strangely the referee allowed him to repeat the movement however he fired the shot wide to leave the score deadlocked at 9 apiece.

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