Planet Rugby

Leinster continue climb at Connacht

23rd October 2010 19:51

Share:

Sexton s Boot

Knocking them over: Sexton

Leinster hopped above neighbours Connacht on the Magners League table on Saturday after overcoming their hosts 18-6 at the Sportsground.

In what was a forgettable derby, Connacht missed out on a losing bonus point as Frank Murphy's pass was intercepted by young flanker Dominic Ryan for an injury-time try.

Winger Isa Nacewa grabbed a 14th-minute try for Leinster, who led 5-3 at the break. The visitors maintained their advantage, despite a second penalty from Ian Keatley, as Jonathan Sexton converted Ryan's effort to complete his eight-point haul.

Leinster dominated possession and territory for long stretches of this game, without hitting any heights in terms of performance and they just did enough in the end against a disappointing Connacht side.

There was a buzz of anticipation at the Galway venue when winger Fionn Carr got on the ball, but that was all too rare and Leinster's slick lineout staved off the early pressure.

The visitors used the set-piece to set up Nacewa's score. Scrum-half Isaac Boss blasted through a gap at the back of a lineout near halfway, and looped a long pass out to the left for Nacewa to gather and step past Darragh Fanning for well-executed try.

Sexton miscued the conversion but he was influential in open play, his inside pass putting flanker Sean O'Brien raiding through the middle.

Connacht's confidence was clearly dented by that try and they were kept on the defensive for most of the first half.

Leinster worked a maul in the 22 and almost created an opening for stand-in captain Jamie Heaslip on the left - but the covering Fanning and Ray Ofisa bundled him into touch.

Sexton's punt towards the right corner was gathered by the alert Gavin Duffy and Connacht soon lifted the siege.

A ruck offence from O'Brien allowed Keatley to claw back some territory and after a similar infringement from Cian Healy, he opened Connacht's account with a 34th-minute penalty.

Keatley should have sent the hosts ahead but his poor miss from a late penalty, just to the right of the posts, summed up an up-and-down half from Connacht.

The westerners gave away some cheap penalties as the second half resumed, Sexton slotting a 49th-minute opportunity from a left-sided position. It was just reward for his forwards, who led in the physicality stakes.

Sexton missed a drop-goal attempt from near halfway, and the game was crying out for some continuity, with referee George Clancy's whistle peppering the night sky.

Connacht showed what they could do when, from their first visit of the half to Leinster's 22, they garnered a penalty which Keatley despatched from in front of the posts for 8-6.

Sexton replied in the 65th minute after good carries from Shane Horgan, replacement Gordon D'Arcy and man-of-the-match Richardt Strauss.

Leinster were knocking on the door for a clinching try, Carr doing well to halt a diagonal run from replacement Fergus McFadden.

With three minutes left, Sexton was narrowly wide with another drop-goal shot. A Carr and Sean Cronin-inspired break, with the latter chasing his own kick up the left touchline, brought Connacht back to life.

A knock on and the lack of a reward for a huge shove in the scrum saw Connacht remain five points adrift and as they pushed for a late opening, Ryan snatched Murphy's pass on the Connacht's 10-metre line and sprinted clear for a sucker-punch score.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Pen: Keatley 2

For Leinster:
Tries: Nacewa, Ryan
Con: Sexton
Pen: Sexton 2

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Keith Matthews, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon (capt), 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 Johnny O'Connor, 5 Michael McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Barry Fa'amasuili, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Bernie Upton, 20 Ezra Taylor, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Troy Nathan.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Simon Shawe, 19 Nathan Hines, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Gordon D'Arcy, 23 Andrew Conway.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00