Leinster move top of Pro12, Scarlets suffer setback

The returning Jonathan Sexton inspired Leinster to a 16-13 victory over Munster that sent them top of the Pro12 standings on Saturday.

Sexton had not featured for Leinster since January, having played his part in Ireland's unsuccessful Six Nations defence, but scored all 16 points in a narrow win at the Aviva Stadium.

Jonathan Holland, making only his third Pro12 start, opened the scoring for Munster from the tee, but opposite number Sexton soon had Leinster level and his first-half try helped the hosts to a 10-6 lead at the break.

With Robin Copeland in the sin bin, Sexton touched down next to the posts following a productive Leinster maul.

Holland matched his more illustrious counterpart by going over shortly after the interval to send Munster into a 13-10 lead, but Sexton had the last word with two successful penalty kicks.

Cian Holland's yellow card sparked a late period of Munster pressure, but Dave O'Callaghan's quickly taken penalty proved ill-advised as Leinster clung on.

The result sees Leinster climb above Connacht - beaten 18-10 by Ulster on Friday - on matches won.

The Scarlets' play-off hopes were dented by a 28-22 defeat to Cardiff Blues at Parc y Scarlets, with the capital region securing a rare double over the west Wales outfit.

Gareth Anscombe scored 18 points and contributed one of three tries for the visitors, who held off a late fightback from the Scarlets, who remain three points clear of fifth-placed Ulster.

In the day's remaining fixture, defending champions Glasgow Warriors recorded a sixth straight win by overcoming a half-time deficit to triumph 38-16 at Benetton Treviso.