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Watch: Leinster tear Connacht apart after former teammate red carded just 2 minutes in

By PA
Tom Daly is sent off /RTE

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Fourteen-man Connacht were floored by six second-half tries as Leinster ran out 45-8 winners of a bruising United Rugby Championship derby at The Sportsground.

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Connacht had centre Tom Daly sent off in the second minute for a no-arms tackle on Ciaran Frawley, but Tiernan O’Halloran’s try gave the hosts an 8-7 interval lead.

Jack Carty, who had kicked an earlier penalty, set up O’Halloran’s score with a pinpoint pass, replying to a converted 13th-minute effort from Leinster winger Rory O’Loughlin.

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Going up a gear, replacement fly-half David Hawkshaw and captain Luke McGrath crossed after 52 and 55 minutes to give Leinster some breathing space.

Hawkshaw increased his influence as Frawley bagged the bonus point before Tommy O’Brien (2) and Max Deegan made it a seven-try rout.

Referee Chris Busby was busy right from the off, sin-binning Leinster winger O’Brien after just 45 seconds for taking out Niall Murray in the air.

However, Connacht were rocked by Daly’s red card soon after as he was dismissed for a shoulder to Frawley’s neck.

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Ross Byrne’s long pass had O’Loughlin crossing on the left after the Leinster forwards had carried up close.

The visitors, who were missing their contributors to Ireland’s Triple Crown success, were unable to build on that converted try, though.

Carty began the second quarter with a well-struck penalty and Connacht’s scrum got on top, a strong finish to the half leading to that well-crafted try for O’Halloran.

In response, Leinster sparked during the third quarter, with a barnstorming Rhys Ruddock run getting them back into scoring range.

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Hawkshaw, who is joining Connacht in the summer, showed impressive strength to crash over. The 22-year-old converted and also added the extras to McGrath’s sniping effort as he exploited a gap in the hosts’ 22.

Hawkshaw then used a turnover to dangle a kick through, John Porch failed to gather it and Frawley swooped to score. The latter soon sent O’Brien over in the right corner.

Back-rower Deegan burrowed over in the 71st minute and O’Brien flew over from a sharp backs move, as Connacht’s play-off hopes took a big hit.

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