Here's how Connacht became Pro 12 champions

Here's how Connacht became Pro 12 champions

Connacht 20 Leinster 10

Connacht completed their remarkable season by being crowned the champions of the Pro12 following a blistering defeat of Leinster at Murrayfield this evening.

Here's our 60-second game rundown from Simon Lewis of the Irish Examiner at Murrayfield and our match report beneath it.

Key moment: Tiernan O'Halloran's ninth minute try opened the scoring and set the tone for Connacht's finest hour as they stole a march on Leinster with positive, attacking rugby and never let them get within touching distance.

Here's how Connacht became Pro 12 champions

Talking point: The dream has become real and Connacht have ripped up the pre-season form book to land the Pro12 title after a league campaign of remarkable consistency, taking their unique brand of rugby into a first ever play-offs and staying true to themselves to prevail. Hats off to head coach Pat Lam for instilling his players with the belief to stick to their guns.

Key man: Veteran captain John Muldoon completed a perfect 13th season in green with the Guinness Man of the Match award but in truth he could have been one of half a dozen or more deserving Connacht players, locks Aly Muldowney and Ultan Dillane, or try scorers Tiernan O'Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun or Matt Healy.

Here's how Connacht became Pro 12 champions

Ref watch: Nigel Owens presided over a free-flowing game with a very low penalty count. There were moments of debate, not least a disallowed Leinster try for a forward pass that looked good and then allowing another after a more suspect one.

Penalties conceded: Connacht 5 Leinster 6

Injuries: Leinster went into the game missing Devin Toner due to death of his father last Thursday and their second-row was further depleted when Mick Kearney left the field for a head injury assessment and did not return. Connacht lost replacement scrum-half John Cooney to what looked like a bad shoulder injury just five minutes after he came on.

Next up: Connacht can begin their celebrations but the longest season is still not over as those chosen to tour South Africa go into Ireland camp ahead of next month's three-Test series against the Springboks. The first Test in Cape Town is a week on Saturday, June 11.

Match report:

The determination of Pat Lam's men to attack paid off with first-half scores from Tiernan O'Halloran and Niyi Adeolokun and they wrapped up victory when Matt Healy crossed after the break.

Leinster were looking to claim their fourth crown in three years but they could only muster a Jonny Sexton penalty and a late Sean Cronin try as they failed to rise to the occasion in front of a record final crowd of almost 35,000.

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

While the Edinburgh face-off was Leinster's ninth appearance in the final, their Galway rivals were making their first appearance in the competition's showpiece climax.

However, the only nerves on show came from the pre-match favourites, who fumbled their way through the first 40 minutes.

Here's how Connacht became Pro 12 champions

Connacht's underdogs by contrast were ice cool as they took just 13 minutes to carve out the opener.

Centre Bundee Aki's break did enough to disrupt the Blues' defence before O'Halloran turned Rob Kearney inside out as he sprinted home. AJ MacGinty nailed the conversion.

With Ireland lock Devin Toner absent for Leinster following the unexpended death of his father on Friday, the last thing Blues' coach Leo Cullen needed to see was Mick Kearney being forced off with concussion.

But Connacht were in no mood to show compassion and struck again after 22 minutes.

Leinster could not cope with the speed with which the Galway men put the ball through their hands and were unzipped when Adeolokun found himself up against the flatfooted Luke Fitzgerald out wide. The Nigerian winger was by no means clean through but his chip-and-chase was perfectly executed as he darted home for the score.

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

The half-time break offered Leinster a chance to finally catch their breath and Sexton's penalty three minutes into the second period was a welcome sight.

However, the green waves continued to crash forward. Hooker Tom McCartney almost danced home for the unlikeliest of tries, 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 ragged Leinster defence and measured his grubber kick with precision for Healy to run onto and dot down.

MacGinty's goal-kicking, though, was not quite as accurate as he smashed the conversion against the upright.

Leinster substitute wing Zane Kirchner thought he had given his side hope when he dived over in the corner but had his celebrations cut short by referee Nigel Owens after spotting Ben Te'o's forward pass in the build-up.

The Dubliners finally grabbed a try when Cronin ran in with 12 minutes left but even then it came in controversial style as Owens refused to stop play despite seeing O'Halloran knocked clean out following a brutal collision with Kirchner.

Legs were tiring in the Connacht camp but the composure which served them so well in the early stages never wavered as they held out for their maiden Championship triumph.

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