Connacht_v_leinster_350Connacht U20’s started the game off the pace and allowed Leinster to get into their stride with an early period of dominance. Connacht missed a few early tackles and were on the back foot and Leinster took full advantage with a Brian du Toit try which was converted by Cathal Marsh. Connacht forced a couple of penalties but were unable to convert them to points but the Connacht pack started to get into the grove and started to dominate in the tackle and ruck area. Another penalty was forced and this was kicked by Tadgh Leader to get Connacht on the scoreboard.
From the restart Leinster secured a penalty which Marsh converted to leave the score 10-3 to the home team. A superb covering tackle by Robbie Henshaw forced a knock on when a Leinster try looked on the cards and Connacht regrouped to force several scrums and rucks on the Leinster line but again and again poor execution and solid Leinster defence meant the chances were spurned and Connacht were unable to cross before the halftime whistle was blown.

Connacht_v_leinster_Celebrate_350The second half continued with Connacht dominance and with Leinster under pressure the penalty count started to mount. Tadgh Leader kicked 4 penalties in between one for Cathal Marsh to leave the score 13-12. Connacht continued their attacking play from 1-15 but continued to waste opportunities with the final pass or the wrong option at the key moment as they went in search of the lead. A rare foray into the Connacht half gave Leinster a penalty with the every dependant Marsh kicked to go 16-12 ahead.
Connacht kept their heads and kept the pressure on the home team and after several phases a great platform was set by the forwards. The ball was moved through the backs and Robbie Henshaw drew the cover to deliver a perfect pass to Conor Finn who scored in the corner much to the relife of all connected with Connacht. Leader kicked the conversion on full time but that’s when the drama started with 3 minutes of injury time to play.
Connacht won the restart and set up to retain possession through several pick and goes. In fairness to the Leinster forwards, they put serious pressure at the breakdown and forced a penalty. Up stepped Marsh with a kick to level the game and break Connacht hearts but he pulled his kick wide and the full time whistle was blown which led to some wild scenes of celebrations. The final score Leinster U20’s 16 Connacht U20’s 19.
Brian Moylette and his team now play Munster this Friday for the U20 interprovincial title.


Connacht Emerging Talent squad named for game against Leinster North Midlands