Connacht remain top of PRO12

Date published: March 26 2016

Connacht consolidated their number one spot on the PRO12 table with a 7-6 victory over second placed Leinster at Sportsground on Saturday.

An early try from Kieran Marmion ensured Connacht edged past Leinster to remain at the top of the PRO12.

The low scoring encounter finished 7-6 at Sportsground, with all of Leinster's points coming from the boot of Ian Madigan. 

The all-Irish affair was a battle at the top of the PRO12, but Connacht's narrow victory sees them maintain a four-point gap at the top. 

The only score of the first half came as Niyi Adeolokun chipped a ball over the Leinster defence, challenging Marmion to beat his opposite number Luke McGrath to pounce on the ball. 

AJ MacGinty slotted the conversion, before missing a penalty later in the half, leaving the half time scores at 7-0 to the home side.

Madigan slotted a penalty shortly after the restart to open Leinster's account, before adding another to bring the visitors to within a point with 20 minutes remaining.

A stout Connacht defence were able to keep Leinster at bay in the dying moments, despite a valiant effort from the visitors which saw them tally up as many as 25 phases.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try: Marmion
Con: MacGinty

For Leinster:
Pens: Madigan 2

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Matt Healy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Nathan White, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Robbie Henshaw

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa (c), 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Rhys Ruddock, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Jamie Heaslip, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Zane Kirchner

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Stuart Gaffikin (both IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)