Details

Date Time Competition Season
8 April 2022 8:00 pm European Champions Cup 2021/22

Match Report

Leinster edge Connacht in Cup first leg

James Lowe scored twice in four minutes as Leinster earned a slender 21-26 first leg lead against Connacht at Galway Sportsgrounds in the Champions Cup.

Tries from Lowe and a second half effort from Hugo Keenan earned Leinster their fourth straight win against Connacht in Galway and ensured Leinster take a five point lead into the reverse leg next Friday.

Leinster have dominated this fixture in recent years as they have earned their eighth win in their past nine against Connacht, and won their previous encounter by 37 points.

However, Connacht in their first ever Champions Cup knockout game were much improved from their previous outing against Leinster, and produced an inspired display to leave next weekend’s tie evenly poised.

The hosts were left up against it in the first half as Leinster took an 8-18 lead, before Connacht fought back to restrict Leo Cullen’s team to just eight points in the final 53 minutes of the game.

Connacht started the game strongly as John Porch raced in for the opening try of the game, after just two minutes on the clock. 

Leinster looked for an immediate response, but struggled to break down a fired up Connacht defensive line, but soon made inroads as a  Johnny Sexton penalty reduced the deficit to 7-3 minutes later. 

However, Cullen’s men, who had scored a whopping 153 points in their last four games, couldn’t be denied as Lowe raced in for his first score of the evening. 

Lowe quickly became the star of the show as he finished off another free flowing attacking move to add his second within four minutes to make it 5-15. 

Connacht quickly made their way back into the match as Jack Carty slotted over a penalty, before Sexton quickly cancelled it out to make it 8-18. 

Andy Friend’s men quickly clicked into second gear as Carty added two quick penalties either side of halftime to make it 14-18. 

Lowe looked to have wrapped up his third try minutes later, but saw his effort chalked off thanks to a knock on from Luke McGrath in the build-up. 

However, Leinster weren’t to be deterred as Keenan crashed over to send Leinster into a 14-23 lead, before Jameson Gibson-Park was yellow carded following a high tackle on Kieran Marmion. 

Connacht capitalised on the numerical advantage as Salesi Fifita burrowed his way over for the visitors second try of the game. Carty nailed the conversion to make it 21-23, but that proved to be as close as it got as Ross Byrne iced the game at the death to send Leinster back home with a five point advantage. 

Connacht

15Tiernan O’Halloran 22 Full-Back
14John Porch Winger 2'
13Thomas Farrell Centre
12Bundee Aki 23 Centre
11Mack Hansen Winger
10Jack Carty Fly-Half 62'
33', 40', 46'
9Kieran Marmion 21 Scrum-Half
1Matthew Burke 17 Prop
2Dave Heffernan 16 Hooker
3Finlay Bealham 18 Prop
4Gavin Thornbury 19 Lock
5Salesi Fifita Lock 61'
6Cian Prendergast Flanker
7Conor Oliver Flanker
8Jarrad Butler No. 8
16Dylan Tierney 2 Hooker
17Tietie Tuimauga 1 Prop
18Jack Aungier 3 Prop
19Oisin Dowling 4 Flanker
20Abraham Papali’i No. 8
21Caolin Blade 9 Scrum-Half
22Conor Fitzgerald 15 Fly-Half
23Sam Arnold 12 Centre

Leinster

15Hugo Keenan Full-Back 53'
14Jimmy O’Brien Winger
13Garry Ringrose Centre
12Robbie Henshaw 23 Centre
11James Lowe Winger 23', 27'
10Johnny Sexton 22 Fly-Half 24'
19', 38'
9Luke McGrath 21 Scrum-Half
1Cian Healy 17 Prop
2Dan Sheehan 16 Hooker
3Tadhg Furlong 18 Prop
4Ross Molony Lock
5Josh Murphy 19 Lock
6Caelan Doris 20 Flanker
7Josh Van Der Flier Flanker
8Jack Conan No. 8
16James Tracy 2 Hooker
17Ed Byrne 1 Prop
18Michael Alaalatoa 3 Prop
19Devin Toner 5 Lock
20Max Deegan 6 No. 8
21Jamison Gibson-Park 9 Scrum-Half 56'
22Ross Byrne 10 Fly-Half 78'
23Ciaran Frawley 12 Fly-Half

Past Meetings

(Round 14)
8 - 45
United Rugby Championship
The Sportsgrounds

Connacht v Leinster

(Round 7)
47 - 19
United Rugby Championship
Royal Dublin Society

Leinster v Connacht

(Round 1)
12 - 17
Women's Interprovincials
The Sportsgrounds

Connacht v Leinster

(Round 10)
24 - 35
PRO14
Royal Dublin Society

Leinster vs Connacht

Ground

The Sportsgrounds
The Sportsgrounds, Galway City, County Galway, Ireland