LEINSTER (7) 17
- Tries: Madigan, McGrath
- Cons: Madigan 2
- Pens : Madigan
CONNACHT (0) 0
Tries from Ian Madigan and Jack McGrath helped Leinster to a comfortable Pro12 derby victory over Connacht at the RDS.
Connacht's Dan Parks missed a penalty before Madigan opened the scoring on 33 minutes with a converted try to leave Leinster 7-0 ahead at the break,
The fly-half stretched the host's advantage with a penalty before adding the extras after replacement McGrath went over for a 73rd-minute try.
Connacht remained scoreless as Leinster recorded a first victory in four games.
The visitors had a strong wind at their backs in the opening half, but failed to register any score to reflect their dominance of territory.
Eric Elwood's side were unable to build on a fine early break from winger Danie Poolman as Leinster regrouped in a physical first 10 minutes.
Leinster's forwards grew into the contest, carrying well at close quarters, but the Michael Swift-inspired Connacht were finding holes in the hosts' defence.
Poolman just miscued a grubber kick as he latched onto a cross-field delivery from Dan Parks and Leinster snatched a crucial turnover after a dangerous catch and run from Robbie Henshaw.
Having gained ground in a scrum, Parks was presented with his first shot at the posts but pulled the 14th-minute penalty to the left and wide.
Andrew Goodman and Dominic Ryan both barged defenders as the men in blue gained further momentum and a quick tap penalty from Madigan saw him break out of a tackle to score from close range.
The fly-half added a tricky conversion from the right and boosted by the seven-pointer, Leinster continually got over the gain-line as half-time approached.
There was no sign of the midfield traffic giving way until Leinster sparked a series of pick and goes with 50 minutes on the clock.
Dominic Ryan, McFadden and stand-in captain Isaac Boss were heavily involved, before Devin Toner was held up over the try-line. Connacht held out though, winning a turnover from the resulting scrum.
Madigan did increase Leinster's lead with a well-struck penalty towards the end of the third quarter.
Connacht showed flashes of clever attacking play, most notably when scrum-half Kieran Marmion broke from a ruck near halfway and chipped towards the corner.
However, solid Leinster defence and cheap turnovers kept Connacht away from the whitewash and without a score to show for their efforts.
Having turned down a kickable penalty, Brett Wilkinson knocked on a pass from the ensuing lineout. Marshall then blocked an attempted kick from Parks and Leinster broke downfield.
The hosts pulled Connacht through phases of strength-sapping defence in the closing stages and the pressure told when McGrath, supported by Toner, thundered over to the right of the posts.
Leinster hunted for a third try in the dying minute with teenage replacement Adam Byrne threatening on the right wing, but they had already done enough to get their play-off push back on track.
Conway, McFadden, Macken, Goodman, Carr, Madigan, Boss, van der Merwe, Dundon, Bent, Marsh, Toner, Ruddock, Ryan, Murphy.
Reid for Conway (42), Cooney for Madigan (77), J. McGrath for van der Merwe (57), Cronin for Dundon (57), Ross for Bent (53), L. Auva'a for Ryan (70).
Henshaw, Poolman, E. Griffin, McSharry, Healy, Parks, Marmion, Buckley, Harris-Wright, White, Swift, Naoupu, Browne, O'Connor, McKeon.
O'Halloran for E. Griffin (57), O'Donohoe for Marmion (70), Wilkinson for Buckley (60), Reynecke for Harris-Wright (60), Loughney for White (54), Kearney for Swift (64), Grace for O'Connor (60).
John Lacey (Ireland).