The hurt from the manner of the defeat to Leinster must be a lesson for Connacht for future matches, according to head coach Andy Friend.

The westerners looked set for a shock win over the reigning Pro 14 champions until a late rally by Leo Cullen’s outfit.

Friend, clearly still trying to process just how his side had not come away with the points, told RTÉ Sport that the pain was raw.

He said: "We're hurting from that. There is no doubt about that. It'll probably take us a couple of days to try to see the positives from that. We'll learn from that. We only have a few days before Ulster so we have to make sure we don't dwell too much.

"For large chunks of the game I felt we played really good rugby and were in control. You just lose concentration for a second and against a championship side like Leinster they will hurt you. They did that in the end.

"We just talked about it inside. We probably just stopped playing a little bit. We tried to protect a lead and you just can't do that in rugby. Rugby is about continuing to attack.

"We gave away some easy possession and allowed them in. We gave them a sniff of an opportunity and they took it.

"For 65 minutes we looked like the dominant side which we were. We have to take belief out of that and say we can do it. We have to tidy up that last little bit .

"You have to give credit to Leinster as well. That is why they are the best team in Europe. They still grind away."

It’ll be a slightly easier task in Galway on Friday, in a game which will be live on RTÉ Radio 1.

Friend is adamant his side will be well prepared and not feeling sorry for themselves.

"Everyone is fighting for points at the moment and make their fans happy. We know Ulster is going to come at us.

"That's fine, we'll be ready for that and hopefully we can turn things around at the Sportsground."