Leinster grind past Connacht

Date published: January 1 2016

Leinster moved above Connacht on the PRO12 table after claiming a hard-fought 13-0 win over their Irish rivals at the RDS Arena on Friday.

In a scrappy tie, Josh Van Der Flier's solitary try sealed victory for Leinster. Leinster did most of the pushing in the first quarter of an hour, though they couldn't find their way through a resilient Connacht backline. 

But following a penalty advantage, the hosts took the lead 15 minutes through Johnny Sexton's kick. Though neither try-line was troubled, both sides were playing their part in getting the game going. 

The home side almost grabbed the opening try midway through the first 40, though a drive towards the line was impressively held up. 

The weather was certainly playing its part to try and ruin the game, wind and rain not making it the greatest of spectacles at the RDS Arena. 

Though not that it seemed to disrupt too much of Connacht's game, as they held up the hosts who went in just one score ahead at half-time. 

The start of the second half was mainly about the kicking, with that the favoured route for both sides as the weather worsened. In truth, the second half was far scrappier than the first, and neither side was able to make any decent foray into opposition territory.

But despite this, Leinster did finally add to their three points on the hour. After Dave Kearney broke through, the hosts piled forward in numbers just a few metres from the Connacht line. With bodies slipping all over the place, it looked as if Josh Van Der Flier had grounded, and after TMO confirmation, the score was given. 

With a bit of breathing space now built, Sexton added two more to take Leinster upto double figures. 

Connacht did well to pressure Leinster late on, but their attacks didn't really come to much, and the tie was completed with five minutes to go. 

Ian Madigan made no mistake when given the opportunity to kick at the posts, and his penalty completed the scoring and sealed a 13-0 victory for Leinster.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Try: Van der Flier
Con: Sexton
Pens: Sexton, Madigan

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock (c), 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoghan Masterson. 7 Jake Heenan, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Nathan White, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Finlay Bealham.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Ian Porter, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Rory Parata.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)