Planet Rugby

All five points for Leinster

01st January 2011 19:21

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SKY_MOBILE Callum Forrester

Second half try: Fergus McFadden

Leinster had no problems in dispatching Connacht at the RDS on Saturday as the hosts ran in four tries for a 30-8 bonus-point win.

Leinster made it two inter-provincial Magners League wins in quick succession as they followed up victory at Ulster with success in Dublin.

David Kearney's first try of the season established an 8-3 half-time lead for the hosts, who overcame a poor start during which flanker Sean O'Brien was forced off with an injury.

But they were clinical after the break and second-half touchdowns from Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Niall Morris powered them to a victory which sees them close in on the top four on the table.

Connacht got precious little reward for a committed display, with a Ian Keatley kicking first-half penalty and Eoin Griffin collecting a late consolation try.

Keatley kicked Connacht into a second minute lead, slamming a 49-metre penalty through the posts after Nathan Hines was seen going off his feet at a ruck.

Pinned back in their own half for most of the opening quarter, Leinster's early errors came as a result of intense pressure from the visitors.

Brett Wilkinson came close to breaching the try-line, following a clever move involving Keatley and Keith Matthews. But Leinster defended well and dotted down from their first serious attack.

Isa Nacewa missed a penalty from close to the 10-metre line and, from the restart, lovely hands from Hines, Shaun Berne and McFadden opened an avenue on the left for Kearney to blaze over in the corner.

Nacewa's missed conversion was followed by his first successful penalty, with Conway springing through a midfield gap in the build-up to it.

There was plenty of endeavour from both sides as the first half motored along, and Keatley missed a late chance to close the gap, drawing a 39-metre penalty to the right and wide just prior to the interval.

Leinster opened the second half in purposeful fashion, a close-range penalty from Nacewa extending their lead to 11-3.

Connacht failed to turn a promising maul into a scoring chance and Leinster responded in decisive fashion, countering from deep with flair before Richardt Strauss' pass out of a tackle put Kearney over in the left corner.

Nacewa added the difficult conversion for a 15-point advantage and Joe Schmidt's men were out of sight after McFadden plunged over on the right after replacement Morris had been held up short.

With eight minutes remaining, Morris gathered McFadden's chip over the top and evaded Frank Murphy's attempted tackle to chalk up the bonus point.

Connacht had the final say as Dermot Murphy, Andrew Browne and Dylan Rogers strung together the passes for Griffin to nip in at the corner.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Kearney 2, McFadden, Morris
Cons: Nacewa, McFadden
Pens: Nacewa 2

For Connacht:
Try: Griffin
Pen: Keatley

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Shaun Berne, 9 PaulO'Donohoe, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Clint Newland,2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Ed O'Donoghue, 20 Stephen Keogh 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Niall Morris.

Connacht:15 Troy Nathan, 14 Eoin Griffin, 13 Ian Keatley, 12 Keith Matthews (C), 11 Brian Tuohy, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Michael McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Dermot Murphy, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Dylan Rogers, 19 Bernie Upton, 20 Shane Conneely, 21 Frank Murphy, 22 Niva Ta'auso, 23 Fionn Carr.

Venue: RDS
Referee: John Lacey

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