Tag Archives: Connacht

Connacht vs Leinster Guinness Pro12

Posted by Cian Nolan on September 22, 2014

Well that was a very frustrating evening. A 10-9 loss to Connacht in the Sportsground is no disgrace obviously but it was very disappointing nonetheless. It had all been going so well, getting into a 9-0 lead like that and at 9-3 up, when Madigan crossed over for his try, it looked like the team would do a professional job of winning at the Sportsground with minimal fuss. That would have been something to praise and fill the supporters with optimism for the future. The try was, correctly, ruled out by the TMO and that seemed to give the home side a fillip because, no matter how or where we tried to break them down after that, it was impossible.

The first score for Leinster came after only 3 mins with Connacht fullback Darragh Leader unable to control a high ball from Gopperth and giving the visitors a scrum on the hosts ’22. McGrath, Cronin and Ross proceeded to shunt back the Connacht front row to such an extent that Referee John Lacey was forced to give the penalty. After last week’s showing, Madigan was given the responsibility of kicking from the tee and he duly converted the penalty with little fuss. 0-3 Leinster after 3 mins.

Both sides missed difficult long range penalties before Leinster extended their lead. Connacht were extremely eager to show Matt O’Connor’s side that they were going to be in for a physical battle but, in the early going, their discipline was letting them down and Lacey was penalising them for it. Number 8 Eoin McKeon was pinged for being offside in the midfield. It was a needless penalty to give away as Leinster were just in the Connacht half and not really going anywhere. With the wind behind his back, Madigan shrugged off his earlier miss to land the kick from 46m out. 0-6 Leinster after 12 mins.

Almost straight away, Connacht’s indiscipline cost them another 3pts. Firstly, from a decent position inside the Leinster half they gave away a penalty for side entry and the visitors kicked down the line to gain a lineout around the home sides’ 40m line. A good take in the lineout was followed by decent carries from Heaslip and Ruddock but they earned a penalty from Flanker John Muldoon flying into a ruck off his feet leaving Lacey with very little option but to award the penalty. Madigan tapped over the penalty and, without having to do much work at all, Leinster had a 2 score lead. 0-9 Leinster after 16 mins.

Connacht woke up after this and started playing territory and, after Matt Healy had returned a Rob Kearney clearance and established possession in the Leinster half of the field, it was Leinster’s turn to give away a cheap penalty. McCarthy, perhaps eager to perform well in his old stomping ground creeped offside in the midfield and was correctly pinged for it by Lacey. À la Madigan earlier, Out Half Jack Carty shrugged off an earlier miss to land a crucial first score for Pat Lams side. 3-9 Leinster after 20 mins.

Muldoon was sin binned for persistent infringement at ruck time and that led to Leinster establishing a stranglehold on territory but despite their efforts, Madigan’s try was thwarted by Reddan’s forward pass and, right on half time, Toner was prevented from grounding the ball by Scrum Half Kieron Marmion. To the home side’s credit, their discipline improved hugely and there was some heroic defending from Centre Robbie Henshaw and from the pack in general. After Toner was held up, Leinster had a 5m scrum but not only did the Connacht 8 survive but they won a penalty when Ryan tried to move the ball with his hands in the scrum.

As we moved into the 2nd half it was clear that both defences were performing well and that it was going to take a moment of magic to separate the 2 sides. Unfortunately, from a Leinster perspective, it was Connacht’s Marmion who delivered. From a lineout on the Leinster 10m, Connacht set up a ruck in midfield. Leinster attempted to rush up to shut down the attack but Marmion spotted the hole that emerged between Healy and Madigan and showed a great turn of pace to race away. Despite the best efforts of Healy to ankle tap him, Marmion managed to evade him and dot the ball down just beside the posts. That left Carty with the simplest of tasks for the conversion and Connacht were in front for the first time in the match. 10-9 Connacht after 56 mins.

Try as the visitors did for the rest of the game they were unable to establish the territory or the control required to fashion an opportunity to snatch a win. The home side showed a great deal of composure in defence which was very impressive when compared to the first quarter of the game. Matt O’Connor’s critics often point to the side’s lack of invention in attack as a criticism of his reign and, on this showing, it’s a valid complaint. The result itself is no disaster and, based on this performance, Connacht will be a tough proposition for any team in the league at the Sportsground. It’s very important though that Leinster bounce back straight away. Cardiff in the RDS next Friday can’t come quickly enough.

Support The Green or Get Out?

Posted by Colm on January 28, 2014

With the Six Nations fast approaching there has been calls from two high-profile internationals,  Paul O’Connell and Rob Kearney to revive the old Landsdowne spirit.

But following todays announcement of a Leinster dominated squad can the Irish rugby fans put provincial bias behind them for the good of the National team? The 34 man squad consists of 18 Leinster, 8 Ulster, 5 Munster, 1 Connacht, 1 Racing Metro and 1 Cardiff Blue which has already left some with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Read more

Heineken Cup Round 1 – The Tale of Four Provinces

Posted by Kev on October 11, 2013

So here we are, back again for another fantastic week of rugby. The Rugby Championship may be done and dusted, but at last we have the Heineken (or H, depending where you’re visiting us from) Cup to keep us company through the cold winter months ahead.

The furore surrounding the future of Europe’s premier club competition Read more

Rabo Pro 12 Round 5 Predicitions

Posted by Kev on October 3, 2013

Well here we are, back again for another week of Down The Laighin predictions. After a successful week 4 for the Down The Laighin team, we are hoping to reproduce the great teamwork and guesswork to lead our fans to another great week. So far we have had mixed results, going 5/6, 5/6, 2/6 and 6/6 in the opening four weekends. With the first true Irish derby of the year between Leinster and Munster, this is where many fans truly believe the season begins for our Boys in Blue.

We’ll take a quick look at each of the matches and give our collective verdict at the end.
Read more

Rabo Pro 12 : Week Three Round-Up

Posted by Colm on September 23, 2013

Dragons Crest     23-16     Scarlets Crest

Man of the Match : Andrew Coombs (Dragons No.4)

Well it was the Dragons who got freaky Friday off to a great start when they ran in two early tries to take what proved to be an insurmountable lead over local rivals the Scarlets. The home side gave a defensive masterclass to prevent the Scarlets from winning in the first of the Welsh derbies this year. The Scarlets had battled back from 17-3 down after twenty minutes to only trail by a point after forty-five minutes but it was the Dragons who then absorbed the pressure and managed to extend their lead with two penalties. That win sees the Dragons break into the top four while the Scarlets have now lost two and are lagging in 9th. Early Days yet! Incase you missed it, check out the penalty that sealed the victory for the Dragons, What a Kick from Tom Prydie here : http://youtu.be/1_iJTWlc1RU

Cardiff Crest     25-30     Zebre Cresty

Man of the Match : Brendon Leonard (Zebre No.9)

The biggest shock of the year? Most likely, the Italian side have shown more promise Read more