Leinster 23 Cardiff Blues 6
The Blues kicked off but it was Leinster who won the territory early on, taking a quick penalty through Reddan in the Blues twenty two. The move broke down and the Blues cleared well. However, they were awarded another penalty soon after and Sexton converted.
The home side were penalised for coming in from the side of a ruck and Blair stepped up for a 45yard effort at the posts, but he didn’t quite have the distance. It wasn’t long before Leinster were on the score board again following a break down the left by Luke Fitzgerald. Sexton continued the move and chipped through to the right for Horgan to touch down. Sexton converted.
The Blues were under pressure but were awarded another penalty that Blair uncharacteristically again hit just short, with the RDS slippery underfoot after heavy afternoon showers.
Sexton added another, and Leinster were keeping the scoreboard ticking over. It was third time lucky for Blair who slotted a 40m penalty to get the first score for the Blues on 30 minutes.
Leinster instantly threatened again down the left, but the Blues did superbly to turn the ball over in their twenty two and clear. Jamie Heaslip was sent to the bin and the Blues capitalised with another Ben Blair penalty.
The Blues came closest to crossing the whitewash when Norton Knight put in a cross field kick gathered by Gareth Thomas, who showed great strength to stand in the tackle, and feed Gavin Evans. He slipped a pass to Blair who frustratingly failed to hold onto the ball with the tryline just yards away.
Leinster 13 Cardiff Blues 6
The restart saw the Blues awarded another penalty that Blair slotted wide and again the Blues were under pressure with Leinster constantly threatening.
The Blues were penalised for not rolling away and Sexton had another shot at goal that crept over the bar. Minutes later, Leinster took a quick twenty two that Horgan gathered and sprinted down the left before Sexton put a chip in but Czekaj did well to gather first and touch down for a twenty two to prevent the try.
Sean O’Brien went on a powerful run down the blindside and Blair did well to bundle into touch. Leinster looked dangerous with ball in hand but the Blues looked solid in defence, however, they didn’t seem to be able to create chances when in possession.
Cardiff Blues were dealt a blow when Gary Powell was awarded a yellow card but Sexton failed to extend the lead. The Blues were still only 10 points behind with 5 minutes left and needed a penalty to get the bonus point. However, Keogh charged over from 5 yards out and with Sexton converting to give the final score 23-6.
Cardiff Blues 15 Ben Blair 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gareth Thomas 12 Gavin Evans 11 Chris Czekaj 70off 10 Sam Norton Knight 75 off 9 Richie Rees 75off 1 Darren Morris 64off 2 Rhys Williams 75off 3 Taufa'ao Filise 4 Deiniol Jones56off 5 Paul Tito (C) 6 Scott Morgan 71off 7 Ben White 8 Xavier Rush
16 Rhys James 75on 17 Gary Powell 64on 18 James Down 56on 19 Josh Navidi 71on 20 Darren Allinson 75on 21 Ceri Sweeney 75on 22 Dafydd James 70on
Leinster 15: Isa Nacewa 14: Shane Horgan 13: Brian O'Driscoll 12: Gordon D'Arcy 11: Luke Fitzgerald 10: Jonathan Sexton 9: Eoin Reddan 1: Cian Healy 2: John Fogarty 3: CJ van der Linde 4: Leo Cullen (c) 5: Malcolm O'Kelly 6: Kevin McLaughlin 7: Sean O'Brien 8: Jamie Heaslip
16: Bernard Jackman 17: Mike Ross 18: Nathan Hines 19: Stephen Keogh 20: Simon Keogh 21: Shaun Berne 22: Girvan Dempsey
Yellow card: Gary Powell
Referee James Jones
Penalty Blair x 2
Try Horgan x 1 Keogh x 1
Penalty Sexton x 3
Con Sexton x 2