Leinster fell to a 19-18 defeat away to Connacht in the Sportsground on Sunday evening…
Though the reigning Magners League champions gained a losing bonus point, there was disappointment all round as six Felipe Contepomi penalties weren’t enough in a sun-kissed Galway.
With Devin Toner and Sean O’Brien making good inroads early on, Leinster looked the dominant side and Contepomi kicked his first effort on 14 minutes before one-time Leinster out-half Ian Keatley replied for the hosts nine minutews later.
Contepomi and Keatley then traded a brace more each to level the scores 9-9 at the interval.
Second row Michael McCarthy then weaved in to score on 48 minutes but was red carded for a second bookable offence in an altercation. Keatley added the points to give the hosts a 16-9 lead.
Contepomi, earning his 100th Leinster cap, added two more penalties either side of a 53rd minute effort from Keatley. Contepomi added a final penalty with five minutes remaining but Connacht held on to seal the win.
Fionn Carr; Liam Bibo, Gavin Duffy, Mel Deane, Mike Roberts; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Ronan Loughney; Mike McCarthy, Andrew Farley; John Muldoon CAPTAIN, Jonny O’Connor, Colm Rigney
REPLACEMENTS: Conor Muldoon, Robbie Morris, Andrew Browne, Michael Swift, Kieran Campbell, Troy Nathan, John Hearty
15: Rob Kearney
14: Shane Horgan
13: Luke Fitzgerald
12: Felipe Contepomi
11: Simon Keogh
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Chris Keane
1: Stan Wright (Cian Healy, 46)
2: John Fogarty
3: CJ Van Der Linde
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Devin Toner (Trevor Hogan, 65)
6: Rocky Elsom
7: Sean O’Brien (Cameron Jowitt, 41)
8: Stephen Keogh
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Brian Blaney, Fergus McFadden, Felix Jones, Gary Brown
REFEREE: George Clancy (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), John Lacey (IRFU), TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)