Connacht claimed a shock 34-6 victory over Leinster in their PRO12 encounterat the Sportsground in Galway on Friday.
Connacht claimed a shock 34-6 victory over Leinster in their PRO12 clash at the Sportsground in Galway on Friday.
Ian Madigan kicked the visitors into an early lead but Connacht struck the first meaningful blow after quarter of an hour when centre Dave McSharry crossed moments after Michael Swift had been held up over the line.
And, although Madigan kicked another three points for the Heineken Cup holders, it was the home side that looked the more incisive and McSharry turned provider midway through the first half as he set up Fetu'u Vainikolo to score.
Brendan Macken was sent to the sin bin for the final ten minutes of the half to make it even more difficult for Leinster. Their hosts took full advantage as Tiernan O'Halloran scored the third try of the night and debutant Dan Parks added a late penalty to make it 22-6 at the break.
Leinster battled hard in the second half but they struggled to gain any sort of momentum as Madigan missed a shot at goal and they were unable exploit a one-man advantage after O'Halloran was yellow-carded just after the hour mark.
Connacht kept their illustrious opponents at bay well and defended their own try-line resolutely when they had to before again taking advantage of having an extra man when Leo Auva'a was sin-binned in the final ten minutes.
The Dublin outfit's ill-discipline cost them once more as the excellent George Naoupu crossed to give the home side a deserved bonus point.
Replacement Ronan Loughney ran in a fifth try in the closing stages as well as Connacht recorded their second win of the season and condemned Leinster to their second defeat of the campaign.
Tries: McSharry, Vainikolo, O' Halloran, Naoupu, Loughney
Cons: Parks 2, Nikora
Pens: Madigan 2
Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (c), 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Mata Fifita.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 John Cooney, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Ben Marshall, 5 Tom Denton, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Thomas Sexton, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Fionn Carr.