Leinster 41 Connacht 12
Connacht had been hoping it might be out with the outdated and in with the brand new. But Leinster had been having none of it in entrance of a bought out RDS, not one of the bonhomie, not one of the ‘stir the eggnog, raise the toddy, Happy New Year all people.’
As Leinster usually do, they discovered Connacht flagging within the second half and put them to the sword with 4 tries, three within the final 10 minutes constructing the scoreboard. At one stage it seemed prefer it was going to exceed 50 factors.
Connacht started the night thirteenth within the league desk and 5 locations off the qualifying mark for subsequent 12 months’s Champions Cup. They left schooled. No actual shock even when Leinster weren’t in classic type.
Leinster may have some concern for Johnny Sexton when he went off after a second half conflict of heads with Jarrad Butler. Round three of the Champions Cup is simply two weeks away with a visit to Gloucester. Sexton was lucky to not be penalised for what appeared one other head-on-head collision for which loads of defenders have been carded in latest months.
“He’s OK, truthful outdated whack on the cheek,” stated Leo Cullen. “We’ll see tomorrow, he’ll get it examined.
“Let’s wait and see, we’ll have a greater concept tomorrow. It’s a type of unlucky incidents, they’re getting loads of air-time. Need some readability.
“There’s a little bit of muddiness, they’re not all the identical.
“Ball carriers can really see a tackler that’s excessive and may head straight for them, all of the onus is on the defending participant. It must be clearer.”
The higher information was man of the match Jordan Larmour with two tries and a few eye-catching footwork started wanting very very like the dazzling footed trickster folks know him as.
Connacht had been barely adjusting to the atmosphere when Leinster struck after three minutes. With the ball moved from left to proper, Johnny Sexton popped one up for centre Liam Turner to burst via a niche and floor untouched.
If the house aspect foolishly believed it was going to be that manner for the remainder of the night time Connacht rapidly displaced these ideas, hitting again whereas displaying enterprise and inflicting Leinster all types of issues all through the primary quarter.
A couple of missed lineouts from Leinster in addition to penalties conceded brought on Connacht’s confidence to develop. Then Jack Carty kicked to the touch for an attacking lineout after 16 minutes.
The ball was secured and spun out to David Hawkshaw, the centre took off via the center of a crowded Leinster center. It was all too straightforward towards his former teammates, Hawkshaw touching down as Leinster shook their heads questioning how their defence had simply been made to look so susceptible.
Connacht may need hoped the strive for 5-7 after Jack Carty transformed may need been a turning level. Well, it was however only for 5 minutes.
It was then Sexton discovered contact from a penalty. The ball was, lastly, secured and hooker Rónan Kelleher, hitching a trip on the maul, was able to snipe.
But it took half a dozen phases with lock Brian Deeny, in his first begin of the season, to seize Leinster’s second and Sexton transformed for 12-7. Leinster then discovered the attacking edge and when Jordan Larmour got here infield off his wing, it was a lot sufficient for the group to rise.
The dancing ft. In, out, cease, ahead and into Jimmy O’Brien’s arms to make additional floor. But Larmour was rewarded for his magic and scooped up a free ball in his help run for O’Brien.
Sexton transformed for 19-7 however not earlier than a Connacht attacking lineout yielded one other strive. On the left this aspect, Connacht went via the phases earlier than crabbing proper. A sudden change within the angle of assault and the ball was flung left to Tom Farrell on an unstoppable run via the stretched defence. Sexton questioned its legality however the rating stood.
Five first half tries and the groups went into the break with Leinster, who haven’t misplaced a league sport because the Bulls beat them 27-26 final June within the playoff semifinal, 19-12 forward.
After the break, Larmour resumed as irrepressible as he was within the first half. Again with the ball, even in visitors, he had the Connacht defence guessing when he launched into a gallop up the left, scattering our bodies within the Connacht 22.
With the ball recycled and Jamison Gibson Park to offer it laborious and flat again to the winger, Larmor twitched and shook and stepped into house to floor for his second strive of the night time and safe Leinster the bonus level and a 24-12 lead.
The residence aspect may need anticipated extra positive aspects when Jack Carty was proven a yellow card on 52 minutes when he didn’t again off 10 yards for a fast Gibson-Park faucet penalty. But they struggled to transform and between 44 minutes and 69 minutes couldn’t transfer the scoreboard. Jarrad Butler lastly needed to depart the sector of play later within the sport and when he did, Leinster handled the followers to a blood thirsty finale.
Replacement Rob Russell took one ball over for a try to 29-12 across the 70-minute mark. One minute later in a 40 metre break free Ryan Baird adopted for 36-12 and eventually Josh van der Flier, posing as a left winger, ran at full stretch down the flank. Connacht left with maybe a primary quarter feeling that that they had Leinster underneath some stress. But, considerably predictably, they left with their backs towards the wall and unable to cease a house aspect in full spate.
Scoring sequence – 3 minutes L Turner strive 5-0; 16 minutes D Hawkshaw strive, J Carty con 5-7; 22 minutes B Deeny strive, Sexton con 12-7; 31 minutes J Larmour strive, Sexton con 19-7; 32 minutes T Farrell strive 19-12. Halftime. 44 minutes Larmour strive 24-12; 69 minutes R Russell strive 29-12; R Baird strive con H Byrne 36-12; 75 minutes J van der Flier strive 41-12
Leinster: J O’Brien; J Larmour, L Turner, C Ngatai, R Russell; J Sexton (C), J Gibson-Park; M Milne, R Kelleher, M Ala’alatoa; B Deeny, J Ryan; R Baird, J van der Flier, C Doris.
Replacements: A Porter for Milne (51 minutes), A Soroka for Deeny (51 minutes), J McKee, for Kelleher (62 minutes), V Abdaladze for Alalatoa (62 minutes), J Osborne for Turner (62 minutes), H Byrne for Sexton (63 minutes), C Foley for Gibson Park (67 minutes), S Penny for Ngati (73 minutes).
Connacht: T O’Halloran; D Kilgallen, T Farrell, D Hawkshaw, J Porch; J Carty (C), C Blade; P Dooley, D Heffernan, D Robertson-McCoy; D Murray, N Murray; C Prendergast, S Hurley-Langton, J Butler.
Replacements: T Daly for Hawkshaw (44 min),; B Ralston for O’Halloran (46 minutes), D Buckley for Dooley (54 minutes), S Illo for Robertson McCoy (54 minutes), C Oliver for Hurley Langton (54 minutes), O Dowling for Prendergast (58 minutes), Ok Marmion for Blade (67 minutes), S Delahunt for Heffernan (70 minutes).
Yellow card: Jack Carty (52 minutes).
Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU)