Sheehan scores four attempts as Leinster do a light job for Benetton

Leinster 42

Benetton 10

The last time Leinster supporters came to RDS, they watched their team knock out United Rugby League semi-finals as Jake White Bulls unleashed the end-of-season surprise.

After their Champions Cup final defeat to La Rochelle, that match was a reminder that despite Leinster’s dominance in the league over recent seasons, nothing is guaranteed in the sport. The county ended the season without a title for the first time since 2017.

Then came a summer of turmoil. Having already made two changes to the coaching staff during pre-season – Andrew Goodman and Sean O’Brien coming for Philippe Contibumi and Dennis Lemmy – they now need to find a replacement for Stuart Lancaster, who is close to agreeing a transfer. at the end of the current campaign.

These are fun times to interrupt. during the week, Coach Leo Cullen stresses the importance of paying attention to the ‘product’with a nod to what is happening in the English club match at the moment.

Leinster will note a poor turnout for URC knockout matches at this stadium last season, and with that in mind, they have taken steps to improve the fan experience. Tonight’s fans were invited to visit a new fan zone, where Johnny Sexton, James Lowe and Tudge Furlong were big names. Inside the grounds, the pre-match playlist was arranged in a welcome shuffle, with the volume turned up significantly.

Not only do fans come to expect to see their team win, but they also expect to be entertained.

Against a Benetton side who opened their season with a stunning defeat at Glasgow, Leinster wasted little time in dominating the competition and making the evening very familiar.

By the end of the first half, they had an 18-point lead with nearly all of their rugby matches played inside the Benetton half. Business as usual.

Dave Kearney of Leinster is handled by Onisi Ratave.

Source: Bryan Keane / INPHO

Their first real sniping came in the first five minutes. Robbie Henshaw turned playmaker by sending a wide, twisted kick to Kellan Doris, who was tightly attached to his left wing in space. Doris stepped forward, before looking to slip into Dave Kearney when he was pushed to the floor. Kearney failed to collect the ball and cried foul. Referee Jaco Bieber went to the big screen before firing a yellow card in Mattia Bellini, who saved Kearney without the ball.

From the resulting shots Dan Sheehan was able to give Leinster an early lead, an attempt which Ciaran Frawley turned – scoring his 10th start in the No. 10 shirt for Leinster.

The versatile Frawley had some lovely moments on the ball, including a great off-the-back dump to Garry Ringrose.

A new look to Leinster’s engine room as well, with summer signing Jason Jenkins making a major impact, put his large chassis to good use in open play and in the air, with lines squeezing aimed at Benetton’s hands.

It took two Benetton bodies to bring Jenkins to the ground as Leinster crashed toward the line in search of the second one. His second-tier partner, Ross Moloney – starting with James Ryan, who withdrew as a precaution due to a hamstring shake – was on hand to gain possession of the ball and gain more yards before Sheehan joined to add the finishing touch and double his tally. Again, cut the strawberry toppings.

With nearly 25 minutes of play, Benetton scored his first point of the evening via a penalty kick for Giacomo Da Re.

Minutes later, Leinster kicked off his goal and Sheehan pounced again, scoring a hat-trick in the first 28 minutes – even Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was impressed by the numbers.

Giovanni Pettinelli and Robbie Henshaw

Source: Bryan Keane / INPHO

Home fans stepped in for their half-time pints knowing victory was in the bag – star-studded Leinster would never allow Benetton back into the game after what happened at Zepre last weekend.

After the break, it only took them six minutes to cross to try to get an extra point.

Shortly after making way for Ross Byrne – who had received treatment on his shoulder earlier – the alternate outer half made an immediate impact, getting the ball into his hands and delaying the pass to Larmor, who in turn fired Josh van der Velleer’s wide shot from. Byrne turned and drove the Leinster 25.

With the next attack, Sheehan broke through the middle of another attack in the opposite corner to score his fourth goal.

Sheehan’s last act was as Colin and then replaced his entire front row, sending Ronan Keeler, Ed Byrne and Sian Healey – who was given a standing ovation when he came for the 250th Leinster hat.

During the same break in play, Benetton sent out six new faces, and soon substitute Manfredi Albanese was flanked by the ball to finish off a superb team move into the corner.

Leinster thought they responded at the other end with Garry Ringrose, but Luke McGrath was in touch when the dump played indoors.

They didn’t have to wait long for another chance, and this time with McGrath dashing from behind a knockout, Benetton showed the effects of a Test evening as they once again gave their hosts plenty of time and space on the ball.

Byrne’s third transfer pushed Leinster’s lead to 32 points as the clock stopped.

A result that was not in doubt, from a team that used to work its way through those league games in the regular season.

There may be big moves happening off the field in Leinster, but the show goes on.

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Leinster scorers:

Try – Sheehan [4]Van der Flair, McGrath

Transfers – strawberry [3/3]Bern [3]

Benetton scorers:

attempt – Albanian

Transfers – dare [1]

Penalty – dare [1]

Leinster: Jamie O’Brien (Cormac Foley, 67); Jordan Larmore, Gary Ringrose (captain), Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney (Charlie Ngatay, 59); Ciaran Frawley (Ross Byrne, 46), Luke McGrath; Andrew Porter (Ed Byrne, 56), Dan Sheehan (Ronan Kelleher, 56), Michael Alalatuwa (Sian Healy, 56); Ross Moloney and Jason Jenkins; Ryan Bird, Josh van der Vlaer, Kellan Doris (Will Connors, 5) (Joe McCarthy).

Benton: Ignacio Mendy. Mattia Bellini, Joaquín Riera, Marco Zanon (Tomaso Menoncello, 56), Oneci Rataf; Giacomo da Re (Ratova Tavoiara, 70), Sam Hidalgo Klein (Manfredi Albanese, 56); Ivan Nimr (Federico Zani, 56), Giacomo Nicotera (Gianmarco Lucchesi, 56), Simone Ferrari (Filippo Alungi, 56); Niccolo Cannon, Scott Scrafton (Karl Wegener, 56); Giovanni Pettinelli (Henry Time Stores 5 min), Michele Lamaro (captain), Toa Halafihi.

yellow card: Mattia Bellini, 5

Rule: Jacko Pepper (SARU)

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