Leinster hold nerve to keep the pressure on Connacht while Munster secure bonus point

It was far from vintage stuff from the traditional Irish powerhouses

Leinster hold nerve to keep the pressure on Connacht while Munster secure bonus point

Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Leinster 19-16 Ospreys

Leinster secured a priceless win against the Ospreys as they kept the pressure on league leaders Connacht in the business end of the Pro12 table.

In a tense affair at the RDS, Leinster raced into the lead when Ian Madigan cut a hole in the Welsh sides defence and offloaded to the supporting Fergus McFadden. 

The versatile wing ran a good support line and created a two-on-one with openside Dan Leavy finally touching down for a well worked score.

That try came largely against the run of play as Ospreys were on the front foot for much of the opening exchanges and lead thanks to a Sam Davies penalty, but Leinster seized the momentum shift with both hands as they soon opened up  a 13 point lead thanks to the boot of Madigan. 

The second half proved a tighter affair, with Ospreys controlling much of the ball but they struggled to break down a well drilled Leinster defence. 

Davies tacked on another penalty before a hole finally appeared in the blue wall, with Ospreys Number 8 Dan Baker running in under the posts after sustained pressure. 

Davies converted to make it a three point game, but that was as close as the visitors got with both sides exchanging late penalties. 

The result leaves Leinster in second and two points behind Connacht with a game in hand. 

Munster 19-5 Dragons

Elsewhere, Dave Kilcoyne kept up his fine try scoring form by burrowing over for two tries in Munster's bonus point victory against perennial Welsh strugglers Newport Gwent Dragons. 

First half tries from the loosehead prop and inside centre Rory Scannell had Munster cruising 12-0 at the break against the visitors. 

The Dragons had their fair share of possession and territory in an ugly encounter in Limerick, but found themselves conceding a third try when Kilcoyne crossed for his second after numerous phases attacking the line. 

However, the fighting spirit failed to desert the Welsh side as they came roaring back for a try of their own through left wing Hallam Amos, but hopes of a comeback would be misguided. 

Munster fans expecting a bonus point victory were made to sweat as the home side left it late to secure a crucial fifth point that will go a long way in their battle for a top four place. 

Indeed it was Kilcoyne's replacement who crashed over from the back of a maul to the delight of the Munster crowd. 

The result leaves Anthony Foley's men in sixth place, overtaking the Ospreys and with two games in hand to their nearest competitors.