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Video: Bath Were Swept Aside By A Dazzling Fitzgerald On Their Last Visit

Video: Bath Were Swept Aside By A Dazzling Fitzgerald On Their Last Visit
By Conor O'Leary

This weekend, Bath return to the Aviva Stadium for the first time in three and half years. In the intervening period, quite a lot has changed for the English side, with youngsters George Ford, Anthony Watson and Jonathan Joseph now leading the charge instead of World Cup winning All Black Stephen Donald and ex-Bath hero Nick Abendanon.

That game in December 2011 represented one of the most complete performances by a Joe Schmidt side, with Devin Toner Luke Fitzgerald in particular showcasing some of the talent that they had suggested they had without fully delivering.

That December, they delivered.

Leinster were under pressure in the pool stages of the Heineken Cup that year, after opening their campaign with a draw away to Montpeiller, while their first game in Bath ended in a very uninspiring win over Bath where they failed to score a try.

They delivered in spade in the return game a week later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69xdh1p7Mr8

It was Fitzgerald's try that gave them the breathing space in the 24th minute after Rob Kearney had opened the scoring. Leinster were four points ahead, with a man in the bin before Devin Toner made a stunning break and offload to Rob Kearney. Toner had arrived. He'd been pillared for so long for being lanky with not bulk, but this game started his rise to the international starting team.

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Fitzgerald's devasting pace meant that he got on the end of that move, but his second try demonstrated how good he can be.

Leinster came out for the second half 24 points to 6 ahead. It was a comfortable lead, but they didn't want to concede to let Bath back into the game. From the kickoff they decided to run. The ball was flashed wide to Fitzgerald inside the 22, and the Leinster flier did the rest. A superb step saw him beat the first defender, and his pace saw him finish a spectacular score.

Leinster were running riot. Fitzgerald was denied a hat-trick after having a try ruled out, but they proceeded to tack on three more tries and 52 points on the helpless Bath.

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Another substantial victory tomorrow would do nicely.

Photo Credit Stephen McCarthy/ Sportsfile

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