Leinster fell to a disappointing 27-13 defeat away to Connacht in the Sportsground, Galway in Wednesday night’s Magners League clash…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: "They (Connacht) have shown pretty convincingly all season that they are a good side, even in the game up in Dublin when we were lucky to win.
"I don’t think that they’re a bottom of the league team and we know that they have a lot of quality because we have coached a few of them ourselves. We lacked an edge in defence. We had a lot of possession but we didn’t use it properly, but in the second half we attacked the line better.
"We worked hard, but it’s another game that we have lost here because we lacked the correct attitude. Brian (O’Driscoll) finished the game and he’s fine, but Girvan (Dempsey) suffered a neck injury and we just have to manage our resources now with a game coming up against Glasgow on Friday."
Leinster dominated large periods of the first half and a succession of scrums on the westerners’ line couldn’t breach the excellent Connacht rearguard. Stan Wright came close with successive bursts, while Eoin Reddan sniped intelligently, but a 35th minute try from Brian Tuohy gave them a 7-0 lead at the break after Miah Nikora slotted home the conversion.
The hosts surged clear after tries from Michael Swift (48) and Troy Nathan (64), but Leinster dug deep and a 69th minute penalty try gave the visitors hope, with Shaun Berne adding the points thanks to a drop kick to speed up play as Leinster pressed.
But Connacht eased to victory and moved off bottom spot as replacement Ian Keatley’s 72nd minute penalty extended the lead to an ultimately unassailable 14 points.
CONNACHT SCORERS: B. Tuohy, M. Swift, T. Nathan (1 try each), M. Nikora (1 drop goal, 2 conversions), I. Keatley (1 penalty, 1 conversion)
LEINSTER SCORERS: Penalty Try, S. Berne (2 penalties, 1 conversion)
15: Gavin Duffy
14: Brian Tuohy
13: Troy Nathan
12: Aidan Wynne
11: Fionn Carr
10: Miah Nikora
9: Conor O’Loughlin
1: Ronan Loughney
2: Sean Cronin
3: Robbie Morris
4: Michael Swift
5: Mike McCarthy
6: John Muldoon CAPTAIN
7: Mike McComish
8: George Naoupu
16: Adrian Flavin
17: Brett Wilkinson
18: Bernie Upton
19: Andrew Browne
20: Johnny O’Connor
21: Kieran Campbell
22: Ian Keatley
LEINSTER (team v Connacht):
15: Girvan Dempsey (Ian Madigan, 47)
14: Andrew Conway
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Kyle Tonetti (Eoin O’Malley, half time)
11: Simon Keogh
10: Shaun Berne
9: Eoin Reddan
1: Stan Wright
2: Richardt Strauss (John Fogarty, 52)
3: CJ van der Linde (Cian Healy, half time)
4: Nathan Hines
5: Malcolm O’Kelly (Leo Cullen, 52)
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Jamie Heaslip, half time)
7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8: Stephen Keogh
REPLACEMENT NOT USED: Paul O’Donohoe
REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Leo Colgan (IRFU), Olly Hodges (IRFU), TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)