In the early stages of the game, Connacht totally dominated the set piece and this in turn gave them the platform to score the first try of the match. In the 18th minute Matthew Mannion edged over the line and also went on to score the conversion to put Connacht seven up.
Connacht continued to dominate play for the next few minutes however Leinster began to break them down. Leinster’s Ronan Costello and captain John Shine displayed brilliant work in the 30th minute, which lead to Liam Caddy scoring a try after Ian Burke’s chip through. Burke added the extra two points to bring the sides level.
However the Connacht response was swift as immediately from the restart and from their scrum Matthew Mannion ran in under the posts, scoring his second try of the game. Mannion added another two points making it 14-7 to the men in green.
Marty Cummins of Connacht was given a yellow card just before half time and while Connacht managed the period well they couldn’t stop Leinster from getting a dream start to the second half.
They started the second half strongly with a try in the corner scored by Ivan Jacob. Burke missed the conversion allowing Connacht to hang on to their slender 14-12 lead.
Neither team would dominate the remainder of the game but crucially Leinster managed to play a lot of the game in Connacht territory and applied huge pressure to the westerners try-line in the closing stages.
In the 78th minute this pressure finally paid off as referee George Finn awarded Leinster a penalty from the scrum. Ian Burke ensured Leinster’s win after slotting the penalty and David Mahon’s men were able to hold on for the all important win.
Next up is a trip to Newcastle West where they face Munster in the second round.