RaboDirect PRO12: Ian Madigan is hero as Leinster edge out Glasgow Warriors
Last Updated: 23/03/13 11:06pm
Ian Madigan scored all Leinster's points as they went top of the RaboDirect PRO12 by beating Glasgow Warriors 22-17 at the RDS Arena.
Glasgow, on a seven-match winning streak in the league, were the better side for the first hour and will be disappointed to take only a losing bonus point home.
The visitors made the breakthrough in the 10th minute, pressing from a close-in line-out and then Josh Strauss drew in a couple of defenders and got his offload away for prop Ed Kalman to score by the posts.
Duncan Weir's conversion was quickly followed by a central penalty from out-half Madigan, who coolly split the posts after the ball had blown off the kicking tee just seconds earlier.
The Warriors responded with a strong set of phases, attacking the fringes with vigour and a well-struck penalty from Weir restored their seven-point lead.
Back came Leinster and the returning Gordon D'Arcy drove his legs to get over the gain-line before Madigan tucked away a penalty from a similar position to his first.
But Glasgow showed their clinical edge again when conjuring up a try out of nothing, DTH van der Merwe worming free of Jordi Murphy's grasp on the left, staying in touch and passing inside for centre Peter Horne to run in an opportunist score. Weir added the extras.
Isa Nacewa, Madigan and Andrew Conway all sliced through the Scots' defensive line, two of those surges earning penalties that the reliable Madigan converted.
His fourth successful place-kick, this time from a difficult position on the right, closed the deficit to 17-12 at the break.
The biting wind restricted scoring chances in the second half until, with eight minutes left, Madigan deftly dummied to pass and broke through two tackles to score a fine individual try.
His conversion nudged Leinster ahead for the first time in the game and he took his tally to 22 points after replacement Dominic Ryan forced a 77th minute penalty at a ruck.
Gregor Townsend's men came with a committed final spurt, hammering away at the Leinster defensive line before a long pass to Sean Lamont, who only had one man to beat, was ruled forward.
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 18
Leinster make seven changes ahead of their derby against Ulster as an array of internationals return to league action.
Paul O'Connell made a try-scoring return in Munster's 22-0 RaboDirect PRO12 derby win over Connacht.
Edinburgh finally brought their 11-match losing streak to an end after edging past Ulster 14-8 at Murrayfield on Friday.