Leinster slaughter Kings
PRO14 REPORT: Ciaran Frawley put in a scintillating performance as Leinster strengthened their grip at the top of Conference B with a 10-try 64-7 victory over the Southern Kings.
The Irish province took another giant stride towards the Pro14 Final Series as Bryan Byrne, Nick McCarthy and Barry Daly all ran riot against the South Africans.
Leinster, whose only defeat in any tournament since early November was 24-29 at Edinburgh in Round 14, started like an express train against the Kings and scored the game's opening try after only three minutes through Bryan Byrne.
A bustling break from Byrne was not stifled by the South Africans, with Frawley adding the extras off the tee.
At this stage the Southern Kings must have been fearing the worst; considering the Leinstermen have not been defeated at home in a regular season Championship fixture for over three years, when Dragons were the visitors.
And it got worse on 10 minutes as Nick McCarthy darted into space and scored Leinster's second try, with Frawley again putting over the conversion as Southern Kings looked vulnerable in defence.
Just as it looked like a one-sided affair, the Kings dug deep and on 15 minutes Mikey Willemse notched for the South Africans after a brilliant line-out maul, with Martin de Toit further adding to the scoreboard.
The game was proving end-to-end and Leinster didn't take long to extend their lead again as Daly squeezed over in the corner for his side's third score on 19 minutes.
Just three minutes later Leinster claimed their try bonus point as Dave Kearney finished a wonderful move by the home side on 22 minutes.
It got worse for the South Africans before the break as Byrne scored his second try of the game, with Frawley again deadly off the tee.
And it was a first start and a first senior try for Frawley before the break as the Leinster player touched down before converting his own score to leave it at 40-7 at the interval.
Leinster started the second half as they had the first and McCarthy scored his second try of the game on 47 minutes, spotting some space and darting through for a score – with Frawley again adding the extras.
Pieter Scholtz was sin-binned for the Southern Kings on 52 minutes for a high tackle as Leinster started to turn the screw.
And the man advantage assisted Leinster just seconds later as James Lowe captured a cross-field kick to bring up his side's half-century, with Frawley again nailing his kick at goal.
Leinster created an overlap on 66 minutes as Daly crossed for his second score of the night to extend the home side's lead to 57-7.
Jordan Larmour ensured the scoring frenzy continued after 75 minutes taking advantage of a handling error, with Frawley – instrumental throughout and named man-of-the-match for Leinster – notching his kick at goal to seal a comprehensive win.
Tries: Byrne 2, Frawley, McCarthy 2, Daly 2, Kearney, Lowe, Larmour
Cons: Frawley 7
For Southern Kings:
Con: Du Toit
Yellow card: Pieter Scholtz (Southern Kings, 52 - foul play, high tackle)
Leinster: 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Barry Daly, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Isa Nacewa (captain), 11 James Lowe, 10 Ciarán Frawley, 9 Nick McCarthy, 8 Max Deegan, 7 Will Connors, 6 Josh Murphy, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Ed Byrne.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Adam Coyle, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Peadar Timmins, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Jordan Larmour.
Kings: 15 Yaw Penxe, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Martin Du Toit, 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Eital Bredenkamp, 5 Arthur de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Luvuyo Pupuma, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Juan-Philip Smith, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Jacques Nel.
Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Ken Imbusch (Ireland) (Wales)
TMO: Wayne Davies (Wales)