The Leinster Under-19s, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, struck for tries either side of half-time from wing Conor Dunne and flanker JJ O’Dea to break free of what was a resolute Connacht in the Inter-Provincial Championship at Galwegians RFC on Saturday.

Leinster were slow to find their rhythm as ex-Leinster back rower Sean Masterson, Connacht’s captain, relished the occasion with the home side having first use of the wind.
The number eight found plenty of support in the tight work of prop Brian Diffley, the impressive tackle-count of fly-half Rory Gaffney and shape to their attack which resembled their senior outfit.
Josh Miller kicked one penalty and missed one another for Leinster as Connacht played with abandon, their left wing Graham Kerr causing problems.
In fact, it took a no-arms tackle from second row Neil Moylett, which resulted in his removal to the bin, to leave enough space for Leinster’s Conor Dunne to capitalise for 8-0 just before the break.
The real sucker punch came on the restart when Leinster quickly added a superb second try involving multiple phases for JJ O’Dea to touch down and for Miller to convert for 15-0 in the 45th minute.

Navan’s O’Dea repeated the trick from a similar approach as the passes started to stick and props Jack Aungier and Eoghan Clarke found the gain line to their liking, Miller again converting.
That was the issue sealed. It became a matter of by how many Leinster would win by as points-difference becomes crucial should the top-two provinces finish equal on points.  
This goal was temporarily interrupted by Connacht scrum-half Stephen Atkinson’s knifing finish for Gaffney to convert.
Leinster full-back Michael Silvestre got on the end of another bout of phase play at the sticks for Miller to kick the extras.
There was still time for the fifth seven-pointer coming at the end by wing Peter Sullivan for replacement Mark Fabian to convert.

“It was satisfying to score five tries and to play some very good rugby in the second-half into a strong breeze,” said Leinster coach Morgan Lennon.
“We showed good structure and good shape. We will have to carry that forward into our last game.”
Ulster beat Munster 15-13 in Cork. That means Connacht will have to beat Ulster up in Belfast for Leinster to have a chance of winning the title.
“We can only concentrate on what is a big one for us against Munster. We lost to them last year. We don’t want that to happen again,” said Lennon.  
At Galwegians RFC – CONNACHT 7 (S Atkinson try; R Gaffney con); LEINSTER 36 (JJ O’Dea 2 tries; M Silvestre, C Dunne, P Sullivan try each; J Miller pen, 3 cons; M Fabian con).

CONNACHT: Michael O’Reilly; Ben Reilly, Adi Donovan, Sam Hastings, Graham Kerr; Rory Gaffney, Steven Atkinson; Brian Diffley, Sean Torna, Mark Keegan, Colm O’Flaherty, Neil Moylett, Jack O’Malley, James Brandon, Sean Masterson (Captain).
Replacements: Luke Sweeney, Kuba Wajtkowicz, Ryan Lomas, David Robb, Michael O’Neill; Barry Walsh, Niall Gray, Tom McGann.
LEINSTER: Michael Silvestre (Clongowes Wood College); Peter Sullivan (St. Andrews College), Sean O’Brien (Mullingar RFC), Tim Murphy (Newbridge College), Conor Dunne (Tullamore RFC); Josh Miller (Kilkenny College), H O’Sullivan (Belvedere College); Eoghan Clarke (CBC Monkstown), Cathal Duff (Clongowes Wood College), Jack Aungier (St Fintan’s High School), Jack Dunne (St Michaels College), Aaron Browne (Cistercian College Roscrea), JJ O’Dea (Navan RFC), Max Kearney (Belvedere College, Captain), Paddy Ryan (Newbridge College).
Replacements: Stephen McLaughlin (Blackrock College) for Duff, Patrick Patterson (Blackrock College) for O’Sullivan both 40 mins; Ruadhan McDonnell (Longford RFC) for Ryan 44 mins; Jordan Duggan (Newbridge College) for Clarke, Evin Coyle (Gonzaga College) for Aungier, Jack Dignam (Terenure College) for Kearney all 54 mins; Mark Fabian (Terenure College) for Miller 60 mins; Peter Hastie (Wicklow RFC) for O’Brien 65 mins.