Connacht 7-6 Leinster: League leaders increase their lead over Leinster at the top of the Pro12
Connacht increased their lead over Leinster at the top of the Pro12 to four points
The league-leaders ground out a one-point win over their interprovincial rivals
A Kieran Marmion try, converted by Alan MacGinty, gave the hosts a 7-0 lead at half-time
Leinster replied with two Ian Madigan penalties after the interval
An early try from Luke McGrath ensured Connacht edged past Leinster to extend their lead at the top of the Guinness PRO12.
The low scoring encounter finished 7-6 at Galway Sportsground, with all of Leinster’s points coming from the boot of Ian Madigan after the restart.
The all-Irish affair was a battle at the top of the PRO12, but Connacht’s narrow victory sees them extend their lead to four points at the top of the table.
The only score of the first half came as Niyi Adeolokun chipped a ball over the Leinster defence, challenging Kieran Marmion to beat his opposite number Luke McGrath to pounce on the ball. AJ MacGinty slotted the resulting conversion, 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 in Galway, before adding another to bring the visitors to within a point with 20 minutes remaining.
A resilient Connacht defence though were able to keep Leinster out despite the visitors going through 25 phases in the dying moments.
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
Date: Saturday, March 26
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Stuart Gaffikin (both IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)