Guinness PRO14 highlights: Leinster v Connacht
January 2, 2018 3:22 pm Conor Sharkey
Leinster Rugby kept the pressure on Guinness PRO14 Conference B leaders Scarlets with a win over Connacht at the RDS Arena on New Year’s Day.
Scarlets still lead the way on 48 points, but Leinster are close behind on 46 with Ulster in third on 40.
Leinster face Ulster in the last of three consecutive Interprovincial derbies at the RDS on Saturday evening (KO 5.35pm – click here to get tickets).
A win over Les Kiss’ men could turn that six-point gap into 10, but Ulster will be looking to take the momentum from their comeback win over Munster into this weekend’s game and bring themselves back into contention for top spot in the Conference.
Leinster didn’t have to overcome a 17-point margin against Connacht, though the western province did lead at the break.
Finlay Bealham’s try just before half-time, converted by Jack Carty, put Connacht in front at the break after a Max Deegan and two Johnny Sexton penalties for Leinster.
Sexton nudged Leinster ahead early in the second half with a long-range penalty.
Luke McGrath added to the province’s lead with a try in the 60th-minute, converted by Sexton, to make it 21-13.
Matt Healy scored Connacht’s second try with 12 minutes to go, but Leinster held on until the 86th-minute for a crucial win.