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Glasgow humiliated by Leinster in a 76-point, 12-try URC mauling

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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A fifth European star eluded Leinster with last week’s Heineken Champions Cup showcase showpiece final defeat to La Rochelle in France but a potential fifth consecutive success PRO14/URC title was enough of an incentive to lift them off the canvas in front of a low 9,346 RDS attendance and clinically refocus with a starting XV showing seven energising changes from seven days earlier.

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The hurting hosts were excellent, running up a landslide 12-2 try count to leave the wobbling Warriors embarrassingly silenced to the tune of 76-14 – 40 of those points were leaked in the crippling 20-minute period they had to play with 14 players following a yellow card in each half.

A semi-final against the Bulls, who pipped the Sharks 30-27 earlier on Saturday, now awaits Leinster next Friday and it will be an interesting staging post for the evolution of this fledgling URC format. Thirty-six weeks ago, on the opening weekend of the season, Jake White’s South Africans fell 17 points behind inside 13 Aviva Stadium minutes and played like they hadn’t got off the plane.

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They went on to ultimately lose 31-3 and the curiosity surrounding the Pretorians when they arrive back in the Irish capital will be how much this chasm has genuinely closed in a league where the jury is out on the credibility of its competitiveness compared to the Top 14 and the Premiership.

The enormous gulf, meanwhile, between Leinster and Glasgow was encapsulated in the ten-minute first-half spell where the hosts clipped the Scots for three converted tries while Richie Gray was bulling in the sin bin following a needless yellow for a silly collision with Jamison Gibson-Park.

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The Warriors were 7-0 ahead at the time of the card through Zander Fagerson, were 21-7 down when the lock returned after scores from Dan Sheahan, Jordan Larmour and Joe McCarthy, and they exited at the break another Sheehan try and 26-7 down. It quickly got worse for the hapless visitors. Caelan Doris finished an excellent multi-pass team and then another frustrating yellow card, this time for a deliberate knock-on from Ollie Smith, paved the way for tries from Michael Ala’alatoa, Gibson-Park and Garry Ringrose in the full-back’s absence.

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When the naughty Smith returned, the bruising hits just kept on coming following the temporary respite of a George Horne consolation. Larmour, Ciaran Frawley, Luke McGrath and Jimmy O’Brien all ran in tries from distance for fun to round off the massacre and send the humiliated Glasgow homeward to think again. Now to tame the Bulls.

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