Rob Russell scores two tries as Leinster maintain perfect United Rugby Championship campaign with easy win over Zebre

Rob Russell scores two tries as Leinster maintain perfect United Rugby Championship campaign with easy win over Zebre

LEINSTER kept their perfect URC record intact in Parma as an understrength XV got their 18th league win.

Two tries in the opening half and three after the break did the business for the leaders as they secured their ninth bonus point too.

Rob Russell scored two tries as Leinster beat Zebre in the United Rugby Championship

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Rob Russell scored two tries as Leinster beat Zebre in the United Rugby Championship

Luke McGrath, who got one of those tries, said: “Zebre made us work very hard, especially in the opening half.

“But we are delighted with the team effort and are just delighted to get the points on the road.”

Leinster laid down an early marker when Rob Russell took a pass from Liam Turner to race in. Ross Byrne added the conversion but Leinster struggled to build on that and lost Turner to the bin for a head challenge on Geronimo Prisciantelli.

The Italians made the extra man count with a superb try from Jacopo Trulla. But Andrew Osborne responded with a touchdown on his senior debut.

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Ahead 14-7 at the break, Leinster got on top after the restart and McGrath was soon over after Zebre made a mess of their own lineout.

And the bonus point came when Scott Penny grounded before replacement scrum-half Fintan Gunne set up Russell for his second.

SCORERS Zebre: Try, Trulla; con, Prisciantelli.

Leinster: Tries, Russell 2, Osborne, McGrath, Penny; cons, R Byrne 3

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