Kirchner try wins it for Leinster against Connacht

Luke Fitzgerald and Leinster came through at the RDS

Luke Fitzgerald and Leinster came through at the RDS

Zane Kirchner’s opportunist 78th-minute try sealed a deserved Guinness Pro12 derby victory for Leinster over Connacht on a cold, windy night at the RDS.

Matt Healy attempted to keep Jimmy Gopperth's touch-finding kick in play and Kirchner swooped on the loose ball to score as Leinster avenged their narrow September loss in Galway with a 21-11 win on Friday.

Shane Jennings' early touchdown from a lineout maul was just reward for an excellent opening from Leinster, who profited from the ninth-minute sin-binning of Connacht lock Aly Muldowney.

Gopperth added a penalty but Connacht, who had the wind behind them in the first half, reduced the arrears to 8-6 by the break thanks to two Jack Carty penalties.

Two more place kicks from Gopperth widened the margin to eight points until Connacht hit back with seven minutes left, as George Naoupu drove over with Devin Toner in the sin-bin.

The visitors' only try went unconverted and South African Kirchner made his own good luck to put the result beyond doubt, with Gopperth clinically adding the extras from wide on the right.

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