Leinster Rugby recorded their biggest margin of victory in the Heineken Champions Cup, with 13 tries past Montpellier at the RDS Arena.
The visitors came to Dublin with a range of Academy players mixed with established senior players in their squad.
And it proved to be a baptism of fire for those young players as Leinster made their intentions clear throughout the match, taking a bonus point in the 25th minute.
James Ryan’s late withdrawal led to Josh Murphy’s promotion to the second row and the transfer of the captaincy to Garry Ringrose.
Leinster’s first raid almost led to the ultimate reward when Ross Byrne’s wrap-around opened up space for Jimmy O’Brien to turn left.
Then Ciarán Frawley’s dummy and break were not matched by the final pass to fellow center Ringrose.
The French paid no heed to the warning signals, Jordan Larmour made the right right and carefully passed Jack Conan on the left for Byrne to convert in the fifth minute.
Almost immediately, Tadhg Furlong had to leave the field with an injury for Michael Ala’alatoa to go straight to a scrum.
The next time Larmour shoots down the tram track, he collected his own kick and the search for space on the other side resulted in O’Brien’s offloading to Frawley, who was ruled forward by umpire Wayne Barnes.
The flow of traffic continued, Caelan Doris’s cargo was supported by another from Ringrose to get Montpellier into trouble.
Again the ball was knocked to the left where O’Brien’s nimble feet and kick pass led to a return by Henry Thomas, Jamison Gibson-Park alert to strike for the second try, converted by Byrne in the 10th minute.
It all went way too easy for the home side, Kelleher the next to shoot a hole before forcing the offload.
A monster crum delivered a penalty and Leinster was gone again, Ringrose prominent in an attack that seemed to come to nothing until Louis Foursans-Bourdette’s clearance was blocked by Kelleher and hit by Byrne for a third seven-pointer.
Out-half Byrne forfeited the advantage of a second scrum penalty when he couldn’t find contact for a crossfield kick that resulted in a five-meter scrum.
Prop Thomas timed a tackle to perfection at Gibson-Park to avoid further damage.
But a signature side step from Larmour provided the momentum for Ross Molony to reach the bonus point attempt, Byrne’s conversion made it 28-0 in the 25th minute.
Montpellier’s first appearance of an attack was generated by Karl Martin’s two-handed offload, flanker Masivesi Dakuwaqa who kept the ball on the ground for Foursans to convert.
A rare Leinster foul almost gave Marco Tauleigne a second try, only for Guilhem Guirado’s foot to make contact.
Nevertheless, it was a reminder of what can happen if concentration is lost.
The answer was to merge four offloads into a wave that eventually ended with Ala’alatoa taking a fine line on the Gibson-Park flat ball, the conversion that took Byrne past Isa Nacewa to fourth on Leinster’s list of top scorers. all time.
A mesmerizing display of ball handling caused by Frawley’s incision and Doris’ beautiful one-hander saw Lamour try for a sixth time, making it 40-7 at the break.
Leinster reappeared with James Lowe on the left wing, O’Brien switched to the right for Larmour.
Lowe’s first touch was a luscious left-handed miss pass to O’Brien, Doris’ hands the highlight leading up to Conan’s pop pass to Josh van der Flier.
The restart was checked and Andrew Porter’s pass through the back door was the start of another attack, Ringrose the oil in the machine for O’Brien to show a pair of clean heels, who cut in from the right, Byrne converted to 54-7.
Johnny Sexton was one of a number of substitutes who came in just as Van der Flier showed remarkable anticipation and speed on the reading of Vincent Giudicelli’s lineout pitch for the ninth try.
Next, the Blues mindset for defense was tested along the five-yard line, demonstrating good consistency when working without the ball.
At that point, they were determined to get the ball from everywhere, with Lowe’s passing and left shoe having an impact.
However, the lack of structure was food for Leinster’s continuity, a haze of passes from deep starting with Conan’s counterattack ended with Dan Sheehan finishing the try of the match.
Dakuwaqa’s was shown a red card for a challenge on van der Flier that would not benefit the visitors.
Substitute whore Sheehan was on hand to pick up his second attempt from a well-controlled maul for Sexton to add two more.
Sexton and Ringrose got together to bring the game to the line and Conan handed it over for the 12th try, Sexton added the conversion before being left to Lowe to claim the final five, Sexton’s conversion made a very good day at the office for Leinster complete.