Pro14: Sublime Leinster overwhelm Connacht in 54-7 win

Max Deegan
Max Deegan scored a try inside in two minutes to set the tone for a one-sided encounter
Guinness Pro14: Leinster v Connacht
Leinster (40) 54
Tries: Deegan 2, D Kearney, Frawley, Tomane, L McGrath, Ringrose 2 Cons: Frawley 6, H Byrne
Connacht (0) 7
Try: McCartney Con: C Fitzgerald

Reigning Pro14 champions Leinster flexed their muscles in a resounding 54-7 win over Connacht at the RDS.

The hosts wrapped up the bonus point before the 20 minute mark with tries from Max Deegan, Dave Kearney, Ciaran Frawley and Joe Tomane.

Luke McGrath and Deegan added further scores as the hosts went into half time with a 40-point lead.

Garry Ringrose touched down twice after the break either side of Tom McCartney putting Connacht on the board.

The victory sees Leinster, who have won their last 16 games, re-establish their 11-point lead at the top of Conference A after Ulster's win on Friday had momentarily narrowed the gap.

Connacht will be glad to see the back of the other Irish provinces for now having suffered three consecutive inter-provincial defeats.

Leinster waste no time in going for jugular

With the potential to wrap up top spot in European Champions Cup Group One against Lyon next week, Leinster's lightning start against Connacht which rendered the contest over inside 20 minutes allowed head coach Leo Cullen to ease his players through the rest of the game.

Deegan profited from Peter Dooley's early break to score the opener in the second minute before Kearney doubled the hosts' advantage on 11 minutes.

Fly-half Frawley, the fourth Leinster player to start at 10 in as many games, added to his growing reputation with another eye-catching outing, adding his side's third try as they ruthlessly sought a bonus point.

With Tomane's score securing the extra point, Cullen was able to remove lock James Ryan from the action after the Ireland international appeared aggravate his ankle.

Tomane
Joe Tomane's try secured the bonus point for Leinster

As Leinster's support runs and power continued to keep them in the ascendancy as they moved methodically into Connacht territory, Deegan and McGrath profited with further tries from close range.

After Ringrose stretched the advantage after the break Leinster's tempo dropped as Connacht sought to avoid leaving Dublin with no score to show for their efforts.

Their reward, albeit scant, came as McCartney drove over from a rolling maul.

Ringrose's final try from Jamison Gibson-Park's crossfield kick was overshadowed by a serious injury to Connacht fly-half Fitzgerald, who was treated with oxygen on the field before being carried off in a stretcher.

Leinster: Larmour, McFadden, Ringrose, Tomane, D Kearney, Frawley, L McGrath; Dooley, Cronin, Furlong, Molony, Ryan, Ruddock, Connors, Deegan.

Replacements: B Byrne, E Byrne, Salanoa, Baird, Doris, Gibson-Park, Byrne, Kelleher.

Connacht: S Fitzgerald, Adeolokun, Godwin, Daly, Porch, C Fitzgerald, Blade; Buckley, Delahunt, Robertson-McCoy, Murray, Thornbury, Masterson, Boyle, Copeland.

Replacements: McCartney, McAllister, Kenny, Maksymiw, Masterson, Kerins, Horwitz, O'Halloran.