Click here for photos from the Celtic League derby tie between Leinster and Connacht at Donnybrook.
Pictured above: Ireland winger Denis Hickie poses with a special commemorative jersey ahead of his 100th appearance for Leinster. Hickie failed to mark the occasion on Sunday with a try but Leinster still ran out winners over Connacht. Tongan centre Andrew Mailei scored a converted try on 76 minutes to worry Leinster late on, but fly half and stand-in captain Felipe Contepomi’s earlier haul of a try, a conversion and three penalties.
Leinster coach Michael Cheika was critical of his side’s overall display afterwards. The Australian said: “Results are one thing, performance another and that was not a good performance. It is hard to be upbeat about a display like that, even if we did win.”
Leinster scrum half Guy Easterby is tackled to the ground by a combination of David Gannon and John Fogarty. Connacht coach Michael Bradley admitted afterwards: “We had the possession to win it, but we have to turn chances into scores. We didn’t do that and we paid the price – it’s disappointing.”
Denis Hickie feels the force of a tackle from Connacht full-back Mark McHugh. Leinster’s win moved them back up to third in the Celtic League table, making it an Irish 1-2-3 with Munster and Ulster (first) above them.
Connacht number 8 Colm Rigney wins lineout ball at Donnybrook.
Leinster full-back Girvan Dempsey is caught by Connacht’s John Hearty. The westerners’ centre was forced to retire late in the first half due to a facial injury.
Leinster hooker Brian Blaney takes on his opposite number John Fogarty.
Leinster’s Kieran Lewis goes on a burst with Connacht pair Mark McHugh and John Muldoon tracking him.
**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**