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Leinster climb above Edinburgh with bonus-point victory in Dublin

By PA
(Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Max Deegan’s 70th-minute try delivered maximum points for Leinster in a scrappy 26-7 United Rugby Championship win over Edinburgh at the RDS.

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Converted scores from Scott Penny and Nick McCarthy had the hosts leading 14-0 at half-time, with Edinburgh counting the cost of a Connor Boyle yellow card.

Leo Cullen’s men, who lost at Cardiff last time out, struggled for momentum until replacement Vakh Abdaladze and Deegan crossed during the final quarter.

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Argentinian winger Emiliano Boffelli burst over late on for the Scots, but Leinster have leapfrogged them into second place.

Young flanker Martin Moloney came in for his first Leinster start, a late replacement for Rhys Ruddock (quad), who handed the captaincy to Ross Molony.

The returning Dave Kearney had an early break, but openside Boyle’s turnover penalty sparked Edinburgh into life in a bruising and breathless opening.

Mesu Kunavula had a try ruled out for a double movement after Boffelli was stopped just short of the Leinster line.

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The Scots continued to operate at a high tempo, until Boyle was binned for making contact with Ciaran Frawley’s head following an initial tackle by Charlie Savala.

Frawley’s unfortunate departure was quickly followed by the opening try, Penny muscling in under the posts for Ross Byrne to convert.

Fourteen-man Edinburgh frustrated Leinster until a Deegan break opened up the defence, scrum-half McCarthy quickly sniping for Byrne to make it 14-0.

Leinster misfired just before the interval, Josh Murphy fumbling an attacking line-out, and early on the resumption Edinburgh botched a certain try for Ramiro Moyano due to Henry Immelman’s forward pass.

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Leinster’s bench helped them regain their clinical edge, Moloney driving up close before Penny sent prop Abdaladze plunging over for an unconverted 66th-minute try.

Deegan bagged the bonus point a few minutes later, centre Rory O’Loughlin’s initial break from deep doing the damage before Deegan was able to stretch over from a Byrne pass.

Jaco Van Der Walt’s flat pass then sent Boffelli slaloming over impressively from Leinster’s 10-metre line. He converted his own try, the only consolation during a spritely finish from Edinburgh.

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