Leinster 59 Cardiff Blues 22
It was an explosive start from Leinster as the Blues took on the Heineken Cup champions, scoring two tries within the first seven minutes.
The first came when Kearney showed good pace and strength to break through the Blues midfield. The ball was recycled on the right hand side and Richardt Strauss powered over.
Leinster soon doubled their lead with a Madigan try. O’Driscoll broke through Roberts’ tackle and Sexton went on the scissors with McFadden, who passed on to Madigan to sprint in. Sexton again converting.
Halfpenny got the Blues on the scoreboard with a forty- yard penalty but Leinster’s third try soon followed.
O’Driscoll was again proving a threat in midfield breaking through tackles and making his way into the Blues twenty-two. Again Leinster recycled and eventually the ball moved to the left where O’Driscoll and McLaughlin showed good hands to put Heaslip in on the wing.
The game was all but over when Leinster secured the bonus point within the 26th minute. The Irish province won clean line-out ball and Jordi Murphy broke through some slack tackling. When the ball came out, Sexton had the vision to throw a long pass out to Kearney, who this time sprinted in at the corner.
The Blues were down to 14 men, 7 in the scrum, with Scott Andrews in the bin, when the fifth try came. Pretorius knocked on to give Leinster scrum seven metres out and they shoved the Blues back with Heaslip crossing and Sexton converting.
Healey got the sixth, powering over from a short distance to bring the half-time score to 40-3.
Half time Leinster 40 Cardiff Blues 3
Leinster started the second half the same fashion they finished the first. This time Jordi Murphy powered over from short range for a try with Sexton converting.
Finally the Blues got a try in the 47th minute. The ball went right where Jamie Roberts distracted two defenders and put Cuthbert, who maintained his excellent scoring record, into space to score in the corner. Halfpenny was just wide with his conversion effort.
The Blues kept battling with Halfpenny and Lewis Jones coming close before Tovey threw a long ball out to Halfpenny on the left to sprint over in the corner and added the conversion to his try.
However, it was long before Leinster again added another. Some slick hands from Madigan saw Damian Brown dive over unopposed.
The Blues got the next try when Tom Williams, who has come on as a replacement, chipped ahead and Tom James gathered the ball just five metres out to cross. Halfpenny again converted and the Blues were one try out from salvaging a losing bonus point.
However, it was Leinster who finished the strongest with Fionn Carr getting Leinster’s ninth try to bring the score to 59-22.
Cardiff Blues 15 Leigh Halfpenny 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Dafydd Hewitt (60off) 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Tom James 10 Jason Tovey 9 Lloyd Williams (50off)
8 Andries Pretorius (c) (45off) 7 Sam Warburton 6 Josh Navidi 5 James Down 4 Bradley Davies (45off) 3 Scott Andrews (70off) 2 Marc Breeze (55off) 1 Tafa'ao Filise
16 Rhys Willimas (55on) 17 Nathan Trevett (70on) 18 Campese ma’afu 19 Lou Reed (45on) 20 Robin Copeland (45on) 21 Lewis Jones (50on) 22 Ceri Sweeney 23 Tom Williams (60on)
Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan 14 David Kearney 13 Brian O'Driscoll 12 Gordon D'Arcy 11 Fergus McFadden 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Eoin Reddan
1 Cian Healy 2 Richardt Strauss 3 Mike Ross 4 Leo Cullen (c) 5 Devin Toner 6 Kevin McLaughlin 7 Jordi Murphy 8 Jamie Heaslip
16 Sean Cronin 17 Heinke van der Merwe 18 Jamie Hagan 19 Damian Browne 20 Rhys Ruddock 21 Isaac Boss 22 Brendan Macken 23 Fionn Carr
Tries Roberts x 1 Halfpenny x 1 James x 1
Con Halfpenny x 2
Pen Halfpenny x 1
Tries: Strauss x 1 Madigan x 1 Heaslip x 2 Kearney x 1 Healey x 1 Murphy x 1 Brown x 1 Carr x 1
Con Sexton x 7
Yellow Card: Scott Andrews