Full report on Friday night's game at the RDS Arena in Dublin.
The Ospreys endured a night to forget in Dublin as the reigning champions inflicted a heavy defeat on their visitors.
Leinster enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges, with Ross Byrne slotting the early penalty from range to take the hosts 3-0 ahead with only four minutes on the clock.
Ospreys fought their way back and held the attack in Leinster’s 22, after a knock-on from the hosts, but a penalty against the Ospreys for holding on allowed the Dublin side to clear back out of their half.
Back on the attack, Leinster looked to make headway but a knock-on was swiftly picked up by Tiaan Thomas Wheeler and cleared into our opponents 22. However, an attack wasn’t on the cards for the Ospreys. The hosts gathered and sliced through the defence. A cross field kick from Ross Byrne found Fergus McFadden who grounded for the opening try of the night.
The hosts started to build momentum again and saw their pack make the break in mid-field once again sending Ronan Kelleher over the whitewash for the try. Byrne converted and took the hosts to a commanding 15-0 lead.
Despite the disappointed, the Ospreys still continued to be positive. A first attacking opportunity came knocking with a lineout deep in Leinster’s 22, but an overthrow from the Ospreys sent it straight into the Irish side's hands.
Struggling to keep hold of the ball, the Ospreys were dealt another blow with Dan Baker and Lloyd Ashley forced off the field by injury.
Keen to keep the scoreboard ticking over, Leinster ran the ball back into the visitors 22 and Joe Tomane dived over in the corner for the their third try of the night with Byrne slotting the conversion to extend their lead.
Ospreys tried to keep plugging away at their opponent’s defence with swift breaks from Shaun Venter in mid-field taking play into Leinster’s half. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler looked to run the ball out wide but couldn’t quite make the break himself. An offload on his inside looked to be the making of an attack before a penalty against the Ospreys for a knock-on handed Leinster the scrum.
A solid effort from the Ospreys pack secured the steal for the visitors. The penalty extended their territory with a kick from Luke Price giving the Ospreys the throw-in at the lineout in Leinster’s 22. Ospreys drove closer to the line, sending Leinster’s defence backwards. With an advantage in hand, the Ospreys looked to establish themselves in the attacking third in a bid to get their names on the scoreboard before half time.
Opting for another scrum, Ospreys reset and drove again and with Leinster penalised for wheeling the scrum. Taking advantage and exerting their dominance at the scrum, Ospreys looked to go again, but a penalty against Rhodri Jones for an early engagement handed Leinster the penalty. Byrne kicking out for the half-time whistle to deny the Ospreys anything for their efforts.
HALF TIME LEINSTER 22 -0 OSPREYS
The try bonus point was wrapped up inside five minutes of the restart. A chip over the top from Leinster landed in the hands of Luke Morgan before a steal from the hosts secured them back the ball. With quick support Ronan Kelleher went over for try number two for the hooker to clinch the bonus point try for the Irish province. The conversion bouncing off the wrong side of the posts.
Taking it quickly, again, the hosts ran it back to score under the posts with Kelleher grounding the hat trick. Byrne converted once more to extend their lead to 34-0.
The hosts began to run riot and punish the Ospreys defence at every opportunity. Max Teegan and Harry Byrne both crossed over the line and Michael Milne also added his name to the scoresheet to put the defending champions’ try count at 8.
The Ospreys tried to conjure up some momentum. Chipping the ball up field, a strong chase from Keelan Giles and Matthew Aubrey put the pressure on Leinster who knocked it into touch in their 22. Taking it quickly, Aubrey sent the ball into play and found Luke Morgan who raced over for the try. The conversion from Cai Evans bounced off the wrong side of the posts to keep the score at 53-5 with just over five minutes left to play.
As the Ospreys looked to build on their attack, things went from bad to worse with Gareth Evans handed a yellow card for a shoulder charge in Leinster’s 22. The hosts looked to take advantage by running the ball back up field and utilise the extra man. However, as they reached the Ospreys 22, a swift offload was deemed forward and picked up by TMO to deny Leinster the try as the game came to a close.