Leinster power past Connacht to move top of Pro12

first_img Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 7:14 PM By Ryan Bailey 78 Comments Share19 Tweet Email Short URL Leinster scorers:Tries: Adam Byrne, Barry DalyPenalties: Isa Nacewa [4 from 4]Conversions: Isa Nacewa [1 from 2]Connacht scorers:Tries: Shane DelahuntPenalties: Craig Ronaldson [2 from 2]Conversions: Jack Carty [1 from 1] Add us: the42.ie https://the42.ie/3053978 LEINSTER: 15. Isa Nacewa (captain), 14. Adam Byrne (Ross Byrne 78′), 13. Rory O’Loughlin (Rob Kearney 63′), 12. Noel Reid, 11. Barry Daly, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Cian Healy (Peter Dooley 59′), 2. Sean Cronin (James Tracy 59′), 3. Mike Ross (Michael Bent 59′), 4. Mick Kearney (Mike McCarthy 46′), 5. Ian Nagle, 6. Dan Leavy, 7. Sean O’Brien (Josh van der Flier 67′), 8. Jack Conan.Replacements not used: 21. Luke McGrath.CONNACHT: 15. Tiernan O’Halloran, 14. Niyi Adeolokun, 13. Peter Robb, 12. Craig Ronaldson (Bundee Aki 19′), 11. Cian Kelleher (Stacey Ili 69′), 10. Jack Carty, 9. Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade 77′); 1. JP Cooney (Finlay Bealham 38′), 2. Dave Heffernan (Shane Delahunt 59′), 3. Conor Carey (Dominic Robertson-McCoy 53′), 4. Quinn Roux (James Cannon 59′) 5. Andrew Browne, 6. Sean O’Brien (Eoin McKeon 53′), 7. Jake Heenan, 8. John Muldoon (captain).Referee: John Lacey (IRFU).The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add! Leinster power past Connacht to move top of Pro12 Tries from wingers Adam Byrne and Barry Daly seals convincing win for Leo Cullen’s men. Leinster 24Connacht 13– Ryan Bailey reports from the RDSA HALLOWEEN THRILLER at the RDS for Leinster but another visit to Dublin which will haunt Pat Lam and Connacht. Adam Byrne celebrates his try. Source: James Crombie/INPHOThe western province’s winless run at this venue goes on as they were outplayed, outmuscled and overrun by a powerful Leinster performance.Even without a number of their internationals, Leo Cullen’s men were dominant for large parts and their resilient defence and clinical attacking edge was enough to comfortably account for the Pro12 champions.The only blot on the hosts’ copybook was the late concession of a try, although the contest was settled at that point after second-half tries from wingers Adam Byrne and Barry Daly.Leinster’s sixth win of the season sees them move back level on points with Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors at the Pro12 summit. The victory also stretches the province’s winning run at home to 19 matches.For Connacht, another disappointing trip to the capital for them and their band of travelling supporters. Joey Carbery escapes the attention of John Muldoon. Source: James Crombie/INPHOWith the weight of history on their shoulders, they started the game much the brighter and deployed an early kicking game, with a fast start giving no indication as to what was to come.Cian Healy was penalised by referee John Lacey at the breakdown and Craig Ronaldson, in fine form off the tee, made no mistake to open the scoring.By the time the centre dissected the posts for the second time after 14 minutes, Connacht had already stamped their authority on the game and had done so in their own trademark fashion. It is a joy to watch each and every time.Everything Connacht had at one end — powerful running and delightful offloading — Leinster lacked at the other. The groans from the home support were becoming increasingly audible.There was frustration directed at Lacey too. The official lacked consistency in his decision-making at the breakdown and the home side felt they were coming out the wrong side.When he did award Leinster a penalty, after Joey Carbery made a big defensive hit, the home side regained a semblance of control and got themselves on the board after 24 minutes. John Lacey shows Sean O’Brien yellow. Source: James Crombie/INPHOIt was no coincidence that as Leinster settled into the game, the likes of Healy and man of the match Dan Leavy started to impact proceedings at the breakdown. It was an area Leinster dominated, although they weren’t helped by Sean O’Brien’s recklessness.A moment of madness — charging into the ruck to clear Peter Robb out with his shoulder — deprived him of valuable game time in just his second game back. Perhaps a bit of rustiness and eagerness, if we are to give him the benefit of the doubt.During his time in the bin, Leinster weren’t disrupted. Nacewa again was accurate off the tee to restore parity and the Fijian made no mistake a minute from the break to put the hosts into the lead for the first time.At that juncture, Cullen’s men were asking serious questions of Connacht’s defensive line and it led to a yellow for Robb, after he attempted to intercept Carbery’s pass one-handed. It was, if truth be told, on the harsh side.Even with 14 men, Lam will look back on a missed chance just before the interval as one of the big moments in the game.Having enjoyed little or no territory in the second quarter, the western province exerted serious pressure as the clock turned red only for Leinster to stand firm and force the turnover. The tireless work of O’Brien, Leavy and Jack Conan was one of the game’s deciding factors. Jamison Gibson-Park played the full 80 minutes for Leinster. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOIt meant Leinster’s lead remained in tact as the players headed for the dressing rooms and it stayed that way for the rest of the game.While the visitors always possessed a dangerous threat with their explosive running game, a series of uncharacteristic handling errors left them frustrated.Leinster’s defence was watertight too, always making the crucial tackle or having enough cover when required.Even the introduction of Bundee Aki, who replaced Ronaldson during the first half after the former Lansdowne man suffered a head injury, failed to click Connacht into gear on a frustrating evening for the Pro12 champions.The opening try of the game was started, and finished, by Byrne on his first involvement of the season. The UCD winger darted through the wall of green shirts on halfway to set Conan away.The flanker’s kick-and-chase forced Connacht to scramble back and although they averted the initial danger, Leinster worked it wide via Jamison Gibson-Park and Sean Cronin for Byrne to dot down in the corner.Connacht never looked like working their way back into the contest, and Leinster sealed victory five minutes from the end as Daly capped a fine game on debut by diving over on this near side. Disappointment for John Muldoon and Connacht. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOThere was still enough time for Shane Delahunt to merely add gloss to the scoreboard at the other end after Ian Nagle’s missed tackle but it will be of scant consolation for Lam and his men as they suffer another RDS humbling. Oct 29th 2016, 7:14 PM Les Kiss says Ulster ‘not good enough’ after Munster defeat‘We want to carry that legacy that Axel left the team with’ 26,762 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more