Leinster (9) 21
Tries: Leek, Breslin
Pens: O'Meara (3)
Connacht (6) 6
Pens: Elwood (2)
Leinster shrugged off World Cup absentees
to clinch a first Celtic League victory of the season against Connacht.
With 11 players Down Under and eight others injured, the
league has looked bleak for the Leinster.
They went into this game without a win in four matches and a poor first half
was offset by some excellent open play running, particularly by the visitors.
Former Ireland wing Matt Mostyn was kept out by Leinster full-back Brendan
Burke and the corner flag on 16 minutes as Connacht achieved one of the few
sights of the trylines.
The 22-year-old Burke, who recently signed a new two-year contract , had to be
taken off with a swollen ankle 10 minutes later to increase Leinster's injury
Brian O'Meara notched three first half penalties for the home side, opening
his account in the fifth minute and concluding the period with a 35metre effort
to give Leinster a 9-6 interval lead.
The westerners' Eric Elwood offered Connacht's only replies with two
penalties, the second on 37 minutes after Leinster back row Des Dillon was
sin-binned for killing the ball 10 metres from the home line.
A second yellow card, five minutes after the break, for Leinster front row
Emmet Byrne brought their season's tally to one red and six yellow.
But a period
of ascendancy saw out-half Matt Leek slither through a gap on the Connacht 22 on
the hour mark for a deserved try, converted by O'Meara.
A further try, a first for flanker Niall Breslin on 65 minutes, finished off
Connacht's effort to take the home side off the bottom of the table.
Leinster: Burke, McWeeney, Downey, Quinlan, Brown, Leek,
O'Meara, E. Byrne, G. Hickie, Coyle, Cullen, Gissing, Breslin,
Replacements: Treston, D. Blaney, Kearney, Ronan, O'Riordan,
Connacht: McHugh, Mostyn, Yapp, T. Allnut, McPhillips, Elwood,
Keane, Hogan, Jackman, Boiroux, Browne, Farley, Swift,
Replacements: Fogarty, Clarke, McCarthy, Neville, O'Loughlin,
Referee: Hugh Watkins (Welsh RFU)