While they made easy work of their match against the Scarlets in Llanelli, registering a 52-25 victory, Conference B leaders, Munster, had to dig deep to survive against lowly Benetton.
Leinster went to Wales needing to win to overtake their Irish rivals, who they trailed by one log point going into the round, but they undertook the journey knowing that their last two visits to the venue haven’t been convincing.
They lost on their last visit to the Llanelli venue in 2018 and were held to a draw in their previous match.
Following the convincing victory, Leinster, who played with 17 frontline players that are part of the Ireland Six Nations squad, are now red-hot favourites to retain their title.
They started as though they had a train to catch, wrapping up the four-try bonus point before the break, and went on to get seven tries past the well-beaten Scarlets.
Munster, in turn, had to rely on a last-gasp drop goal by JJ Hanrahan (flyhalf) to get them home against Benetton in Treviso.
Benetton had yet to win in nine starts this season, but they had a chance to upset Johann van Graan’s team, who are comfortably sitting at the summit of Conference B.
When Benetton scored in the last 10 minutes to go 16-15 up, it looked like Munster might be destined for a second close defeat in a row.
However, as the game went into injury time the visitors had the field position to set up Hanrahan for the winning kick, which kept them well out of sight of the chasing pack in their conference.
Guinness PRO14 results:
Benetton 16-18 Munster (Stadio Monigo, Treviso)
Scarlets 25-52 Leinster (Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli)