Connacht upset Pro12 champions

Date published: September 19 2014

Kieran Marmion scored the only try of the game as Connacht held on to beat Leinster 10-9 in Friday's Pro12 clash at The Sportsground.

Kieran Marmion scored the only try of the game as Connacht held on to beat Leinster 10-9 in Friday's Pro12 clash at The Sportsground.

A moment of magic from Marmion earned Connacht a record-breaking win over their famous rivals from Dublin.

Marmion struck with a brilliant solo effort in the 55th minute to hand Connacht the lead for the first time in the match and the Galway-based outfit held on thereafter to make it three wins out of three at the start of a season for the first time in their history.

All the other points on a passion-filled night at The Sportsground came from the boot, with three Ian Madigan penalties to one from Jack Carty handing the visitors a 9-3 half-time lead.

Twice Leinster were denied a try in the first half by TMO Seamus Flannery, Eoin Reddan's pass to Madigan being adjudged to be forward on 27 minutes and, 10 minutes later, the Dubliners were deemed to be held up over the line after a pick-and-go drive from the forwards.

Connacht started the second half strongly but were unable to find a way through after consistently being penalised, when in promising attacking positions, by referee John Lacey However Marmion seized his moment when he picked up the ball from the base of the scrum on the Leinster 10-metre line and raced home, leaving several defenders for dead to score what proved to be the match-winning try.

Carty added the extras to edge Connacht in front and, despite sustained pressure from Leinster at the death, Pat Lam's side held on to end an 11-game losing run against the reigning Pro 12 champions.

The scorers:

For Connacht
Try: Marmion
Con: Carty
Pen: Carty
Yellow card: Muldoon

For Leinster:
Pens: Madigan 3

Connacht: 15 Darragh Leader, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Nathan White, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Matt Healy.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Darragh Fanning, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Gordon D'Arcy, 23 Mick McGrath.

Venue: The Sportsground
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Eddie Hagan-O'Connell, Olly Hodges (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (IRFU)