Pro14: Leinster score six tries in commanding win over Connacht
|Pro14: Connacht v Leinster|
|Connacht (6) 11|
|Try: Fitzgerald Pens: Carty, Leader|
|Leinster (35) 42|
|Tries: Porter 2, Kelleher 2, Byrne, Lowe Cons: Byrne 6|
Leinster overpowered Connacht to move 10 points clear in Pro14 Conference A with a bonus-point 42-11 win at the Sportsground in Galway.
The visitors bagged four tries within 30 minutes thanks to two each from Andrew Porter and Ronan Kelleher, before Ross Byrne converted his own.
Connacht scored after the break when Stephen Fitzgerald fielded a Jack Carty cross-field kick and touched down.
James Lowe closed the door with an intercept try in the 69th minute.
The first half had been the front-row show, with prop Porter powering over in the seventh minute despite the efforts of three Connacht tacklers.
He was soon followed on the scoreboard by hooker Kelleher, who scored two tries in succession from the maul, taking his tally for the season to six.
After Cian Healy wriggled out of a tackle to earn some hard yards in Connacht territory, Porter popped up again to take his second, with some help from the ever-present Kelleher.
With the bonus-point secured, a big carry from Joe Tomane created momentum for Ross Byrne, who kicked six out of six on the night, to dance in for a try in the corner, leaving the score at the interval 35-6 to Leinster.
After the break Connacht scored in the 49th minute via Fitzgerald but it was all they could muster.
Leinster were in complete control, and although they saw two more tries denied for a knock-on in the build-up and for crossing, Lowe showed his clinical edge when he snatched a loose pass from Connacht substitute Dave Heffernan and raced half the length of the pitch to seal the win.
Leinster sit unbeaten at the top of Conference A, while Connacht are third in Conference B ahead of next week's Champions Cup opener.
Connacht: Leader, Adeolokun, Farrell, Robb, Fitzgerald, Carty, Blade; Buckley, McCartney, Bealham, Gallagher, Maksymiw, Masterson, Butler, Boyle.
Replacements: Heffernan for O'Brien 51, Burke for Buckley 63, Robertson-McCoy for Bealham 4, O'Brien for Gallagher 18, Fainga'a for Masterson 51, Marmion, Aki for Robb 12, Godwin for Carty 18.
Leinster: Keenan, A Byrne, Henshaw, Tomane, Lowe, R Byrne, McGrath; Healy, Kelleher, Porter, Toner, Fardy, Murphy, Connors, Deegan.
Replacements: Tracy for Kelleher 52, E Byrne for Healy 52, Bent for Porter 52, Molony for Toner 64, Ruddock for Connors 27, Gibson-Park for McGrath 61, Frawley for Tomane 70, Kearney for Keenan 61.
Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)
Assistants: Johnny Erskine, Mark Patton
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)