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FIRST THE NOEL; Reid puts Leinster on their way in South Africa with comfortable bonus point victory over Kings.

Byline: andre jacobs

southern kings 10 leinster 31 NOEL REID began the onslaught and Leinster continued their perfect start to the PRO14 with a bonus point victory over Southern Kings in Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Returning centre Reid (27) scored the only try of the firsthalf as Leinster held a 7-3 lead at the break at Port Elizabeth.

But further tries arrived from Jack Conan, Rory O'Loughlin and Joey Carbery by the 52nd minute and Leinster secured the crucial bonus point before Dave Kearney added a fifth try late on.

Southern Kings were poor throughout and only had a late Jacques Nel try to show for their efforts.

The former Super Rugby outfit began their season with heavy defeats against Scarlets and Connacht where they didn't even pick up a losing bonus point.

Four-time champions Leinster had beaten Dragons and Cardiff Blues in the opening rounds Loosehead prop Ed Byrne and lock James Ryan were handed their first starts for the province as Leinster head coach Leo Cullen welcomed back a quartet of injured players into his side.

Flanker Jordi Murphy was playing his first game of the season after recovering from an ACL injury he picked up in Ireland's famous win over New Zealand last September.

But it was the returning Reid who was on hand to score the first PRO14 try on South African soil after just nine minutes. Southern Kings had started brilliantly and went ahead after four minutes when Banda slotted a penalty after Leinster strayed off-side just outside their 22. But Leinster scored the first try of the match soon after that when Adam Byrne was held up in the right corner, and then the ball was re-cycled with Reid evading a few would-be tacklers to dot down - Ross Byrne scored the conversion.

Dion Davids' side could have posted a try but O'Loughlin's despairing tackle forced winger Yaw Penxe into touch.

Leinster held a slender fourpoint lead at half-time but within 12 minutes of the resumption they had their bonus point and a 26-3 advantage.

O'Loughlin was the first to cross the whitewash after halftime and then Conan piled on the pressure with a third try.

And Carbery secured the bonus point with his try before Leinster unloaded their bench in the 54th minute.

A wonderful move involving Cathal Marsh, Adam Byrne (above) and Jordan Larmour sent Kearney over in the dying minutes before Nel dotted down a consolation.

CAPTION(S):

quality operator Noel Reid got Leinster up and running yesterday

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2017
Words:416
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