The visitors’ best-laid plans were put to test before either side had broken a sweat, with former Leinster man Ian Nagle forced off with a head injury in the opening minute.
A Leinster side containing two debutants didn’t take long to find their rhythm. Michael Bent was first over the line before the floodgates opened, hooker Dan Sheehan bagging a debut try before his neat reverse pass sent Dave Kearney through. The lively Tommy O’Brien darted over to wrap up the bonus point on 36 minutes.
There was plenty for Leo Cullen to like about this Leinster performance, whether it was the dynamism of debutant Sheehan, the spark provided by full-back Jimmy O’Brien, or the nine conversions Harry Byrne clipped over with ease.
The sight of Dan Leavy back out on a rugby pitch for the first time since March 2019 was another welcome boost, the powerful flanker understandably looking hungry for action having fought his way back from a serious knee injury, even seeing a late try crossed out by the TMO.
Zebre did muster up a fine try courtesy of Michelangelo Biondelli, but Leinster were relentless, their second-half tries coming via Sheehan, Tommy O’Brien, Josh Murphy, debutant Ciaran Parker, and Scott Penny in a totally one-sided affair.