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Repeat: Off The Ball


WATCH: Jamison Gibson-Park sees yellow after high shot against Connacht

Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after a high tackle on Kieran Marmion was deemed to 'not have sufficient force' to warrant a red.

Leinster's Jamison Gibson-Park was lucky to escape with only a yellow card after a high tackle on Kieran Marmion was deemed to 'not have sufficient force' to warrant a red.

Connacht hosted Leinster in their first ever Heineken Champions Cup knockout match. While Leinster looked in firm control for much of the match, it was Connacht that got off to the better start.

However, Leinster were reduced to 14 men in the 56th minute after replacement scrumhalf Gibson-Park was shown yellow for a shoulder to the head of his opposite number.

However, the commentators, which included Brian O'Driscoll, felt that the Irish scrum half was lucky to have escaped without the more serious sanction.

John Porch got the hosts off to a flying start. After Bundee Aki had gotten his side into good field position, the ball was turned over by Leinster and James Lowe looked to clear his lines. However, a charge down from Dave Heffernan allowed Porch to regather on the ground.

A few phases later, the Australian sevens star received the ball off the shoulder of Aki again to cross over. While Jack Carty could not convert, the score put the hosts in control.

The lead was short-lived for the hosts, however. Their ill-discipline in their own half allowed Johnny Sexton to get the first points on the board for Leinster, before James Lowe ran in for the visitors' first try.

Lowe received the ball in midfield and ran through the Connacht defence, who parted like a green sea, to score. He completed his brace just four minutes later, after a Hugo Keenan breakaway put the winger over the line.

Both sides then traded penalties for the remainder of the first half, with Leinster taking a seven-point lead into the break.

While another Carty penalty put Connacht back within touching distance, Lowe crossed over for what looked like his third try.

It was ruled out due to a knock-on in the build up, however Keenan soon crossed over for the visitors' third try of the night.

A few minutes later, however, Gibson-Park was yellow carded, and Connacht looked to bounce back into the game. Leva Fifita and his side capitalised on the extra man and crashed over the line to bring the hosts back within two points with less than 20 minutes left to play.

With less than 15 minutes left, and Leinster back up to 15 men, tempers began to flare between the two flyhalves.

Leinster all but sealed the narrow victory with a final penalty just three minutes before full time taking them to a five-point lead.

Connacht did all they could to get one last crack at the whip, however it was not enough as Leinster earned their 26-21 victory in the first leg of the round of 16.

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Andy Friend Australia Champions Cup Connacht Heineken Champions Cup Ireland James Lowe John Porch Knockouts Leinster Leo Cullen New Zealand