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Published: 18:32 | 26/3/16

Connacht beat Leinster to go four points clear


Connacht produced an incredible 40 minutes of second-half defence to secure a 7-6 Pro 12 win over Leinster at the Sportsground.

Pat Lam's side now lead second-placed Leinster in the Pro 12 table by four points with four matches to play, with away matches at Ulster and Treviso and home ties to Munster and Glasgow to come.

Kieran Marmion opened the scoring after 14 minutes to notch up Connacht's 50th try of the season, after refusing to give up on the chase from a Niyi Adeolokun kick-through following a good Tiernan O'Halloran off-load in the build up.

AJ McGinty added the extras, but that was it for the scoring in the first half, as Pat Lam's side rather wasted the wind advantage with nine handling errors and 11 turnovers in the first half.

Ian Madigan almost immediately got Leinster on the board with a penalty from the right after Connacht had been penalised for not rolling away in the first minute of the second half.

But Connacht have lost just once in the league this season, a 10-3 defeat to Ulster, and they showed quite why it is Fortress Sportsground as Eoin McKeon and John Muldoon continued to pepper the Leinster front row with tackles.

Madigan kicked over a second penalty on 62 minutes after Marmion had been caught offside, to set up a tense, electric final 18 minutes.

And the Connacht defence held off a 25-phase Leinster move and two scrums within five yards of their own line, before that man McKeon pounced on a loose ball to spark incredible celebrations in the 7,300 crowd.

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