Pro12: Leinster 31-19 Ospreys

By Michael MorrowBBC Sport NI
Pro12 highlights: Leinster 31-19 Ospreys
Guinness Pro12: Leinster v Ospreys
Leinster (24) 31
Tries: Van Der Flier 2, Penalty, Sexton Cons: Sexton (4) Pens: Sexton
Ospreys (0) 19
Tries: John, Howells, King Cons: Biggar (2)

Josh van der Flier bagged two tries as Leinster secured a bonus-point victory against the Ospreys at the RDS.

The flanker started the try-scoring and Leinster were awarded a penalty try before Johnny Sexton touched down in his first appearance of the season.

Leinster led 24-0 at the break and Van der Flier secured the bonus point before three Ospreys tries.

Ben John, Dafydd Howells and James King went over as the Welsh visitors slipped to their first defeat of the campaign.

In his first game since injuring a shoulder in last season's Pro12 final against Connacht, Sexton scored 16 points in a commanding performance.

Leinster were aided by a strong tail-wind in the first half, and they seized the initiative when Van der Flier touched down after a strong catch and drive from the Leinster pack.

Landmark game

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones struggled to stamp his authority on proceedings up front, in what was his 200th appearance for the team.

After Ospreys prop Dmitri Arhip was shown a yellow card, the Leinster forwards wasted little time in driving home their numerical advantage, forcing a penalty try in the 33rd minute.

Johnny Sexton scores a try in the first half despite a tackle from Josh Matavesi
Johnny Sexton was instrumental as Leinster defeated Ospreys

Ospreys struggled for territory and possession in the blustery conditions and spent the majority of the first 40 minutes defending in their own half.

Tries either side of half-time from Sexton and again from Van der Flier ensured the bonus point for Leinster.

The Ospreys then scored three tries in quick succession as they sought to bring a losing bonus point home from Dublin.

Winger John touched down before Sexton was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle.

Two more scores followed through Howells and King, but they could not find the crucial fourth try.

Defeat means the Ospreys surrender their position at the top of the Pro12 table to Ulster, who defeated Glasgow at Scotstoun.

Leinster: Kirchner, Nacewa, G. Ringrose, Reid, D. Kearney, Sexton, L. McGrath, Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, M. Kearney, Murphy, van der Flier, Heaslip.

Replacements: Leavy for Sexton (80), Gibson-Park for L. McGrath (61), J. McGrath for Healy (50), Tracy for Cronin (55), Ross for Furlong (65), Molony for M. Kearney (55), Ruddock for Murphy (50), Carbery for Van der Flier (72).

Sin Bin: Sexton (69).

Ospreys: S. Davies, Hassler, Beck, J. Matavesi, John, Biggar, Webb, James, Baldwin, Arhip, Ashley, Jones, King, Tipuric, Ardron.

Replacements: Howells for Hassler (61), D. Evans for Beck (65), Habberfield for Webb (61), Smith for James (47), Parry for Baldwin (47), Fia for Arhip (65), B. Davies for Ashley (50), Baker for Ardron (47).

Sin Bin: Arhip (27)

Ref: Marius Mitrea (Italy).

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