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PRO 14    

Leinster leave it late to deny Cardiff Blues

PRO 14    

Leinster leave it late to deny Cardiff Blues

Leinster staged a sensational late comeback to get their Pro14 title defence off to a winning start with a bonus-point victory over Cardiff Blues.

The Irish province looked in serious danger of losing their opening match on Friday as Cardiff surged into a 29-14 lead 10 minutes into the second half.

But Leinster showed exactly why they are champions with a stirring fightback led by replacement forward Bryan Byrne.

The hooker crossed twice, either side of Jamison Gibson-Park’s score, as Leinster put themselves within touching distance of victory, and Ross Byrne completed a barn-storming finish with a 78th-minute conversion.

Leinster’s fellow Group B sides did not fare as well, though, as Edinburgh and Southern Kings both fell to defeats.

Edinburgh earned themselves a losing bonus point in a 17-13 reverse against a George North-inspired Ospreys, while the Kings were well beaten by Zebre in Parma.

Zebre dominated from the start and ran in four tries on their way to a 32-16 triumph, Carlo Canna slotting 12 points amid scores from Oliviero Fabiani, Mattia Bellini, Jimmy Tuivaiti and Apisai Tauyavuca.

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Leinster leave it late to deny Cardiff Blues