In their Champions Cup quarterfinal in Dublin, Leinster is 17-10 ahead of Leicester, so it would be understandable if some supporters of the Irish province suddenly felt nervous.
Leo Cullen’s team had missed chances to move further ahead in the first half. Now that they are down to 14 players, Leicester appears to have been given a chance to close the gap and even advance.
Leinster, on the other hand, end the game as a contest.
After kicking their penalty into the Leinster half, their excellent 10-minute run begins with a defensive set. The house side’s advances stay on the ground and convey some magnificent destroy protection first off, before Garry Ringrose concocts a snapshot of unadulterated initiative.
Ringrose makes a good low tackle on Anthony Watson after tracking across the field from right to left and immediately rises to his feet as Watson offloads.
Ringrose is straight over Leicester center Harry Potter as he tries to get rid of the loose ball. As he sees his chance for a turnover, Ringrose wraps around the ball.
In an effort to clear Ringrose away, Leicester fullback Mike Brown joins the team. James Lowe then anchors Ringrose in position, but referee Nika Amashukeli has seen enough to give Leinster a big turnover penalty.
Ross Molony, a lock, wins the lineout after Leinster kicks to touch down on the left side before they charge forward in the maul.
However, as can be seen below, when hooker Dan Sheehan reaches the maul’s tail, Scott Penny does not transfer back to him.
Leinster are adjudged to have collapsed the maul themselves after it falls to the ground. Leicester are granted the turnover scrum because the ball is entangled in the crowd.
Given their obvious momentum, this is a frustrating time for Leinster. While they might have wasted time arguing that Leicester’s legs were to blame for the collapse, the focus now shifts to the scrum.
With a one-man advantage, Leicester would have wanted to take advantage of this opportunity after the teams had exchanged scrum penalties in the first half. But the seven-man Leinster pack enjoys a moment of dominance.
Leinster loosehead Andrew Porter receives go-forward against Tigers tighthead Joe Heyes, who is penalized, while tighthead Tadhg Furlong fights hard with James Cronin, a former Ireland international.
It is a remarkable moment for the forwards of Leinster, and outhalf Ross Byrne can score three points from the tee thanks to the penalty win.
Leinster have increased their lead to 20-10 in less than five minutes after Doris was banned.
With a lift from Furlong and Penny, Leicester captain James Ryan successfully wins the restart, and scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park lands his exit kick down the left into Leicester’s half. The Tigers have fewer options because it is a precise kick that lands close to the touchline.
Excellent is Jimmy O’Brien’s wingman chase.
After receiving Gibson-Park’s kick, O’Brien clatters Leicester fullback Mike Brown before bouncing up to counter-ruck.
It signifies a brilliant escape from Leinster all the way to Leicester’s 10-meter line, and since O’Brien’s tackle prevented Brown from attacking, Leicester can now concentrate on their kicks.
However, scrumhalf Jack van Poortvliet box-kicks into touch on the full, giving Leinster a second attacking lineout in the opponents’ half.
This time, they play away from their underlying hammer exertion and keeping in mind that the assault turns out to be to some degree unnatural, we’re really seeing the scoring stage coming to fruition underneath.
Byrne parts the case of two advances, who offer a switch choice and a short pass choice, to string the ball to Henshaw.
Henshaw plays superbly when Leinster suddenly have a 4-on-2 on the edge.
Henshaw forces Potter in front of him to make the tackle, then sends a dummy pass to wing Freddie Steward (white below) to make him worry about James Lowe and O’Brien further out. Byrne converts, and with Doris’ yellow card remaining for two more minutes, Leinster leads 27-10.
Leinster are without Lowe because of an injury, but another man with a classy left boot makes an excellent play after the restart.
O’Brien kicks a poor low restart from Tigers outhalf Handré Pollard, and with plenty of time, he hits a howitzer of a kick that goes all the way beyond the 10-meter line at Leicester. Even though Leinster throw a loose pass while moving the ball wide to the left and capitalize on this aerial victory by Keenan, Pollard appears to be thinking he is offside when he could have intercepted the bouncing ball and reversed the momentum.
As the winger displays his speed, Byrne is now able to regather the ball and release O’Brien up the left side. O’Brien tries a grubber kick in the left shortside shortly after.
Van Poortvliet receives the ball as it bounces up, but Gibson-Park knocks him down to give the most unlikely man a chance at the jackal turnover.
Before Byrne is forced back up into a more legal position, he clearly has his right hand on the ground. This should have resulted in a punishment for Leinster, but he gets away with the first violation because Leinster receive a decision that is met with great celebration.
For out-halves, breakdown turnovers are uncommon. Byrne celebrates his poach as referee Amashukeli signals for Doris to return to the action.
Doris is the key player in Leinster’s unstoppable drive up the left side of the subsequent maul after Byrne kicks into the left corner.
Leinster score a penalty try after winning Doris’s sin-bin period by a score of 10-0, effectively ending Leicester’s hopes.