Pro12 final: Connacht 20-10 Leinster

Leinster's Rob Kearney is challenged by Kieran Marmion of Connacht
Leinster's Rob Kearney is challenged by Kieran Marmion of Connacht
Guinness Pro12 final
Connacht (15) 20
Tries: O'Halloran, Adeolokun, Healy Con: MacGinty Pen: MacGinty
Leinster (0) 10
Tries: Cronin Con: Sexton Pen: Sexton

Attack-minded Connacht clinched their first Pro12 title with a well-deserved win over Leinster in Saturday's all-Irish final at Murrayfield.

Pat Lam's men made a great start with full-back Tiernan O'Halloran getting the opening try in the 13th minute.

Winger Niyi Adeolokun scored a superb touchdown midway through the half to give Connacht a 15-0 interval lead.

Matt Healy scored Connacht's third try on 57 minutes with Sean Cronin giving Leinster some hope 10 minutes later.

With Connacht having picked up some injuries, it looked like they might come under serious pressure.

Matt Healy scored the last of Connacht's three tries in the Pro12 final against Leinster
Matt Healy scored the last of Connacht's three tries in the Pro12 final against Leinster

But the men from Galway, with skipper John Muldoon making his 275th appearance, had done more than enough to secure the long-awaited and much sought-after silverware.

Connacht had never been in the Pro12 final before and they made the most of their historic opportunity, playing adventurous, running rugby to telling effect.

For Leo Cullen's Leinster, a record fifth win in the competition must wait for another day.

They could only muster a Jonny Sexton penalty and the late Cronin try as they failed to rise to the occasion in front of a record final crowd of almost 35,000.

Connacht had booked their place in the play-offs by topping the league table but few gave Ireland's least successful province much hope against the Dublin powerhouse.

O'Halloran sprinted home for the opening try after Healy had made great ground. US Eagles fly-half AJ MacGinty nailed the conversion for 7-0, before Adeolokun extended the lead.

Sporting Leinster accept they were second best in the Murrayfield final
Sporting Leinster accept they were second best in the Murrayfield final

MacGinty pulled his attempt at the extras wide but made amends with a penalty soon after.

Leinster badly needed the first score after the break, and got it through a Sexton penalty.

Connacht hooker Tom McCartney almost got through, only to be held up after Sexton's last-gasp tackle.

But that only delayed the inevitable, with Connacht's third touchdown coming after 57 minutes when MacGinty saw the space in behind the Leinster defence and measured his grubber kick with precision for Healy to run on and dot down.

Leinster finally grabbed a try when Cronin ran in with 13 minutes left.

Connacht: O'Halloran, Adeolokun, Henshaw, Aki, Healy, MacGinty, Marmion, Loughney, McCartney, Bealham, Dillane, Muldowney, McKeon, Heenan, Muldoon, J. Cooney.

Replacements: O'Leary for O'Halloran (68), J. Cooney for Marmion (60), Ah You for Loughney (68), Heffernan for McCartney (71), Browne for Dillane (61), O'Brien for McKeon (41), Robb for J. Cooney (65).

Not used: J. Cooney.

Leinster: R. Kearney, D. Kearney, G. Ringrose, Te'o, Fitzgerald, Sexton, Reddan, J. McGrath, Strauss, Ross, Molony, M. Kearney, Ruddock, Murphy, Heaslip.

Replacements: Madigan for D. Kearney (75), Kirchner for Te'o (60), L. McGrath for Reddan (57), Dooley for J. McGrath (71), Cronin for Strauss (41), Furlong for Ross (41), Conan for Molony (62).

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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