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Leinster Stage Last-Gasp Comeback Win Against Connacht

A quality festive clash ensued at the RDS as the Champions hosted a buoyant Connacht side.

Leo Cullen rang in the changes for the Conference B leaders, so he would have been wary of a Connacht team that boasted five wins in a row – with good reason.

It took the visitors just five minutes to get on the board, with Cian Kelleher finishing off a sweeping move from the right that started with a lineout from the opposite side.

Leinster’s presence up forward would be hamstrung by various errors at stages, but it was consistent throughout the game.

They would soon reply through Conor O’Brien as┬áJamison Gibson-Park broke through in fine fashion to set him up.

Connacht would run over twice more before the break to lead a shocked Leinster 17-9.

Mick Kearney scored a much-needed try soon after the restart as Leinster enjoyed their best spell of the game to-date, but Connacht responded in kind through Caolin Blade.

Leinster dug deep despite the 29-12 scoreline, and both their pressure and patience were rewarded ten minutes from time as Sean Cronin’s converted try cut the deficit to ten.

Dan Leavy followed suit soon after for a three point game, and with seven minutes remaining there was plenty of time for a winner.

They needed every second to pull off the great comeback, however.

41 gruelling phases deep into added time yielded a remarkable victory, as Andrew Porter drove over from just before the line.

A losing bonus point is the only tangible reward for Connacht’s efforts, but they can certainly take heart from putting the game right up to the dominant champions.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.