Edinburgh 28 Leinster 11
Leinster fell to just their third defeat of the Guinness PRO14 season as a far from first-string side had no answer to a powerful Edinburgh performance.
The Scottish side dominated possession for long periods and their greater physicality and force up front yielded a lot of success throughout the 80 minutes.
Ciaran Frawley opened the scoring for Leinster after seven minutes when he slotted three points after the eastern province won a scrum penalty on Edinburgh’s 5m line.
Joe Tomane gave away a penalty for not rolling away which allowed Jaco van der Walt an opportunity to level matters but his kick at goal came back off the upright and Leinster were able to clear.
Edinburgh were soon down to 14 men when Fraser McKenzie lifted Noel Reid above the horizontal which resulted in Reid landing heavily on his shoulder. McKenzie saw yellow for the offence and Edinburgh had to contend with the next 10 minutes with a man disadvantage. Reid went off for a HIA but didn’t return.
Leinster punished 14-man Edinburgh soon after when a powerful lineout maul saw Sean Cronin ground the ball against the backdrop of a backtracking pack. Frawley’s conversion went wide of the posts so Leinster had a 0-8 lead after 17 minutes.
Edinburgh began to pile on the pressure and from a lineout maul, the home side went through numerous phases until WP Nel crashed over from a metre out to get his side back into the game. The ball was grounded just to the left of the posts which gave van der Walt an easy opportunity to add the extras and put just one point between the sides with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Leinster hit back with three points from the boot of Frawley but Edinburgh had the last laugh of the opening 40 minutes when they were rewarded a penalty try which gave Richard Cockerill’s side a 14-11 lead at the break.
Things got worse for Leo Cullen’s men at the start of the second half as Dan Leavy was yellow-carded for handling the ball on the deck. From the resulting penalty, Edinburgh kicked to the corner and a strong maul saw Ross Ford dot down near the corner flag. Van der Walt converted to give Edinburgh a 10 point lead.
Another sustained period of pressure which saw carries from Magnus Bradbury and Hamish Watson led to Bill Mata to ground the ball next to the posts despite the best efforts from the Leinster defence to keep the big Fijian out.
With the bonus point now secured, Edinburgh were 28-11 in front with just over 15 minutes remaining. Despite Leinster pounding away at the line in the closing minutes, the Scottish side were able to hold their opponents out in a result which provides a big boost ahead of their meeting with Munster in the Champions Cup next week.
Edinburgh: Dougie Fife, Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, Matt Scott, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos (c), Pierre Schoeman, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Cameron Fenton, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-Hill, Magnus Bradbury, Charlie Shiel, Simon Hickey, Chris Dean.
Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid, Joe Tomane, Barry Daly, Ciaran Frawley, Luke McGrath, Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin, Michael Bent, Josh Murphy, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock (c), Dan Leavy, Max Deegan.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Jack Dunne, Oisín Dowling, Nick McCarthy, Gavin Mullin, Conor O’Brien.