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'It's an incredible story for them and they fully deserved the title'

Leo Cullen and Jamie Heaslip were gracious after defeat in Murrayfield.

Murray Kinsella reports from Murrayfield

LEINSTER WERE GRACIOUS in defeat after Pat Lam’s Connacht convincingly beat them in the Guinness Pro12 final.

Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun and Matt Healy scored superb tries as Connacht beat Leo Cullen’s side on a 20-10 scoreline.

Matt Healy scores his sides third try Matt Healy crosses for Connacht's third try. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I don’t think it got away from us, the better side won,” said Jamie Heaslip at Murrayfield. ”You can’t detract from how they got their scores. They were the better team.

“They were going very well this season, they were the pacesetters for the season. They’re a tough side to defend against, they punish you in all sorts of ways and they’re a very good defensive side, they probably don’t get the credit they deserve for their defence.

“There’s not a whole lot for me to say, I personally thought they were favourites coming into it because of the way they played all year.”

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen understandably cut a dejected figure after the loss, but also congratulated the western province on their success.

“I’m pretty gutted,” said Cullen. “We have a huge amount of respect for Connacht and what they’ve achieved.

“It’s a pretty remarkable season they’ve had and we have no complaints. We weren’t good enough today, which is probably the most disappointing thing.

Jamie Heaslip dejected Leinster were left gutted by Connacht's win. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We didn’t perform to the levels we’re capable of. A huge amount of credit to Connacht; it was an amazing atmosphere out there and all the support they had is incredible. It’s an incredible story for them and they fully deserved the title.

“We just misfired a little bit around set-piece and some of our ball control, particularly in that first-half. We just coughed the ball up unbelievably cheaply. Connacht, on the flip side, were incredibly clinical in taking the opportunities they had.

“We started with reasonable intent and played in the right areas, but just misfired a couple of times at set-piece and we know Connacht are very dangerous off that turnover ball. Our own ball control and inaccuracies when we carried were what really let us down.”

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Murray Kinsella

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