Leinster made it six consecutive PRO12 wins with a 13 – 0 victory over Connacht at the RDS tonight. It was always going to be a tough battle in the miserable conditions in Dublin and Connacht, winning the coin toss, opted to play into the wind in the first half. Despite numerous visits by the hosts to the 22, the resolute Connacht defence kept them out. The home sided chose to go for the corner on numerous occasions, despite having the wind behind them, but after 14 minutes, and in a profitable position in front of the posts, Jonny Sexton kicked Leinster into a 3 – 0 lead.

Connacht kept the home side out for the remainder of the first half and threatened to score when Niyi Adeolokun latched on to a grubber kick from Tiernan O’Halloran but the winger was bundled into touch inches from the line.

Half time: Leinster 3 – 0 Connacht

Connacht had the wind at their backs after the break but Leinster were clinical with ball in hand and a break from centre Gary Ringrose almost saw the home side over, save for a knock on at the crucial moment. The decisive score came after 60 minutes when Dave Kearney made a break up inside the Connacht 22. A series of phases followed on the try line and it was Josh van der Flier who celebrated the try which was awarded following consultation with the TMO.

Sexton added the conversion to make it 10 – 0 and an uphill battle for Connacht followed. A break from Bundee Aki sparked some attacking play but handling errors in wet conditions made the task of securing a consolation bonus point all the more arduous.

Replacement outhalf Ian Madigan sealed the deal with a successful penalty kick on the 74th minute to extend the lead to 13 – 0 and despite Connacht’s best efforts for a last gasp try in the dying minutes, the hosts held firm to keep their visitors scoreless.

Leinster: Rob Kearney (Zane Kirchner ’76); Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Ben Te’o, Dave Kearney; Johnny Sexton (Ian Madigan ’72), Eoin Reddan (Nick McCarthy ’76); Jack McGrath (Peter Dooley ’71), Richardt Strauss (James Tracy ’61), Marty Moore (Michael Bent ’71); Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy (Ross Molony ’68); Rhys Ruddock (capt), Josh van der Flier, Jordi Murphy (Sean O’Brien ’52).

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran (Rory Parata ’76); Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty (AJ MacGinty ’64), Kieran Marmion (Ian Porter ’64); Finlay Bealham (Ronan Loughney ’64), Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan ’70), Nathan White (Rodney Ah You ’10-15, ’54); Aly Muldowney (Ultan Dillane ’62), Andrew Browne; John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan (Sean O’Brien ’53), Eoghan Masterson.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU).

Man of the Match: Eoin Reddan

Related

Highlights & Reaction: Connacht 15-17 Cardiff Blues