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James Lowe wonder try sends message to Andy Farrell's Ireland

By PA
James Lowe /Getty

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James Lowe was back with a bang as his electric 56th-minute try lit up Leinster’s 29-7 United Rugby Championship win over the Ospreys at the RDS.

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Having missed the Guinness Six Nations’ opening two rounds through injury, Lowe showed he is back to his sharpest during an impressive second-half cameo.

Fellow Ireland internationals Jordan Larmour and Cian Healy picked off tries either side of Morgan Morris’ sin-binning for infringing close to the Ospreys’ try-line.

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Leinster struggled to build on their 15-0 interval lead in wet conditions until Lowe was unleashed down the left wing.

Ospreys captain Rhys Webb jinked through to make it 22-7, but Scott Penny claimed Leinster’s hard-earned bonus point with seven minutes remaining.

The result sends Leinster top of the URC ahead of Ulster’s trip to the Dragons on Sunday.

Martin Moloney’s incisive run infield helped to set up fly-half Ross Byrne for an opening second-minute penalty.

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Leinster stayed on the front foot, dominating territory, but Harri Deaves and the returning Bradley Davies led a robust Ospreys defence.

Midway through the first half, Larmour flew past Webb to ground the ball from a Byrne grubber kick.

The try’s creator missed the conversion before Luke McGrath had a score ruled out for a prior knock-on from Michael Ala’alatoa.

Tom Botha conceded a scrum penalty and further pressure on the Ospreys defence led to number eight Morris being binned in the 27th minute.

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Prop Healy duly forced his way over from a couple of metres out, Byrne converting this time to make it 15-0.

The wet conditions increased the handling errors on the resumption, with the Ospreys pressing through Keiran Williams and the returning Dan Lydiate until a costly spill.

Quickly turning defence into attack, Byrne’s kick found Jimmy O’Brien and he fed Lowe just outside the hosts’ 22. The eager replacement broke into space, stepping around Luke Morgan with ease and cruising clear for seven points.

Webb replied for the Welsh region, displaying his own fancy footwork to get past McGrath and score. Gareth Anscombe’s conversion made it a 15-point game again.

However, Leinster dominated the remainder, the key moment coming when Penny drove low – with key support from Rhys Ruddock – to notch his 20th try in 34 appearances, which Byrne converted.

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