Declan Kidney made 13 personnel changes from the side that defeated Bath at Lansdowne Road in the Heineken Cup last weekend, and even though Connacht stuck with the same 15 that overturned the odds against Narbonne, the home side proved that little bit more potent when opportunities presented themselves.
That was essentially the difference between the sides in the end, because Connacht had more than enough possession to win this game.
During the first 25 minutes of the game they owned the ball, but all they had to show for their efforts was a single penalty from Warwick. In truth, they rarely looked like breaching a water-tight Leinster defence and that will worry Michael Bradley this morning.
No such problems for Kidney, who was shown that his replacement backs have the same cutting edge as his first-teamers. Gary Brown, James Norton and Kieran Lewis looked threatening throughout the game, while Felipe Contepomi at full-back finished off a superb try in the 67th minute.
That score essentially finished the game as a contest, but Connacht will look back at the first half and feel they should have had more points on the board. They rarely looked like breaching the Leinster rearguard, bar one rolling maul off a line-out, which was eventually halted by some aggressive defence.
With that threat snuffed out, the home side eventually pulled their game together, though they appeared off the pace of the game for the first 25 minutes until Gary Brown eventually sparked them into life.
The tricky young winger embarked on a 40-yard cross-field, slaloming run, which was abruptly halted by a James Downey high tackle on the 22. As is par for the course on such occasions, a 20-man melee ensued, and when order was restored Downey was sent to the bin.
Contepomi landed the resulting penalty and on the stroke of half-time, the Argentinean repeated the trick to give his side a 6-3 interval lead. Just after the restart, Connacht handed Leinster a gift-wrapped seven points. Warwick, who'd been having a decent game, threw a risky midfield pass straight into the arms of Leinster flanker Niall Ronan, who cantered unopposed to the line. Contepomi did the necessary with the conversion to give the home side a 10-point advantage, and although penalties on 51 and 57 minutes from Warwick narrowed the gap, Leinster's second try effectively sealed the deal.
This time they didn't need any help from Connacht, as Brian O'Meara swung out a delicious double-skip pass which Contepomi motored onto to power over in the corner.
Leinster: F Contepomi; J Norton, K Lewis, C Warner, G Brown; B O'Meara, B O'Riordan; E Byrne, G Hickie, R Nebbett, C Potts, B Gissing, A McCullen, N Ronan, D Dillon. Replacements: J McWeeney for Brown, 34mins; G Easterby for O'Riordan, h/t; L Cullen for Potts, 64mins; D Blaney for Hickie, 70mins; J Lyne for Byrne, 74mins; Connacht: M McHugh; M Mostyn, D Yapp, J Downey, C McPhilips; P Warwick, C Keane; R Hogan, B Jackman, S Knoop, C Short, A Farley, M Swift, M Lacey, J Muldoon. Replacements: J Fogarty for Jackman, 50mins; D McFarland for Hogan, 57mins; C O'Loughlin for Keane, 68mins; E Elwood for Warwick, 70mins
Referee: Nigel Williams (WRU)
Newport Gwent Dragons 33 Neath Swansea Ospreys 29
NEATH Swansea Ospreys tamely surrendered their unbeaten Celtic league record to the predatory Newport Gwent Dragons in a compelling Welsh showdown at Rodney Parade.
The fireworks came in a free-scoring second half and, despite conceding the bulk of possession, the battling Dragons marched to victory and closed the gap at the top of the table.
Newport-Gwent Dr'gons scorers: Tries: Morgan 2, Thomas. Cons: Warlow 3. Pens: Warlow 3. Drop Goals: Warlow.
Neath-Sw'sea Ospreys: Tries: Spice, Tiueti. Cons: M. Jones 2. Pens: M. Jones 5.
Glasgow 36 Borders 22
Kenny Logan bagged his first try in home turf for Glasgow to inflict more Celtic League misery on the Borders basement boys.
With the thrilling bonfire night derby still in the balance, the former Scotland winger finished off a sparkling move by diving over in the corner.
Borders hit back strongly in the tense finale, but Logan's burst of pace along with Calvin Howarth's dead-eye kicking proved to be the difference.
Glasgow scorers: Tries: Pinder, Logan. Cons: Howarth. Pens: Howarth 8.
Borders: Tries: Scott, Berthinussen, Blair. Cons: Warnock 2. Pens: Hore.