Leinster have never lost successive games at the RDS and that wasn't going to change tonight.

Castigated as "frantic" by Leo Cullen after last weekend’s United Rugby Championship loss to Ulster, the coach made 10 changes, bringing back a host of Ireland internationals.

And while in the end they racked up seven tries, for long spells of the opening half they were second best.

But the quality of their reinforcements eventually told and Connacht’s hopes of recording a second win here in a calendar year died in the ten minutes after the break.

In that period, Jordan Larmour and Caelan Doris tries pushed the hosts’ lead out to 21 points after first-half touchdowns from Rhys Ruddock, Garry Ringrose and Dan Sheehan had given them something to work off.

Late tries from Ryan Baird and Max Deegan put the icing on the cake and the bonus-point win extended their lead at the top of the table to five points over Ulster, who face Ospreys away tomorrow.

It was Connacht who dictated the pace of the opening half, insisting on moving the ball quickly away from the breakdown, backs and forwards interchanging when needed at rucks.

Punching up the middle, probing behind the line with deft kicks, spinning out of the first contact, Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty had Connacht humming, while the irrepressible Mack Hansen delivered five passes and 10 runs in the opening half and inevitably managed to grab Connacht's opening try.

He was everywhere.

Marmion, Conor Oliver, Peter Robb and Ultan Dillane made the hard yards before Carty picked out Hansen with a cross-kick, the Aussie soaring over Larmour to dot down in the corner.

Man of the match Josh van der Flier’s hard and smart-angled running was Leinster’s saving grace. The Ireland flanker repeatedly targeted the soft shoulder and Connacht struggled to stop him early.

That got Leinster into the danger zone and Ruddock barged over for their opening try seven minutes later, Harry Byrne converting.

Baird was lucky from the restart with Oran McNulty being denied what looked like a good try after forcing the lock to fumble the ball over his own line.

Mack Hansen scored the first try of the night

Referee Chris Busby wasn’t convinced but minutes later the visitors had their second five-pointer.

Again, the speed of ruck ball allowed Sam Arnold the space to crash over after Carty declined a kickable penalty in the 29th minute.

But Leinster weren’t long responding.

Robbie Henshaw, who was facing his old side the for the first time since his 2016 move, was running hard and another cut by Van der Flier gave Ringrose the half-chance needed to score.

And on the stroke of half-time, hooker Sheehan bamboozled Hansen with a sidestep to run in from 30 yards to give the reigning champions a19-12 lead.

They wasted little time extending that lead after the break when catching Connacht cold.

Larmour, this time, finishing off a basic backline move by cutting inside two defenders with Byrne, picked ahead of older brother Ross, kicking the extras. The 22-year-old finished with five conversions to his name.

Doris, voted best player in the Autumn Nations Series, crashed over from close range for Leinster’s fifth in the 50th minute as the Westerners struggled to keep pace.

They did manage a third try with 18 minutes to play, however, Hansen finding a gap with Oliver on his shoulder to run in.

Replacement Deegan was on hand to finish off good work by Tommy O’Brien and Nick McCarthy, both also off the bench for Leinster’s seventh try with six minutes to play.

Andy Friend’s side tried in vain to grab a fourth which would have resulted in bonus point but it wasn’t to be.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Harry Byrne Luke McGrath (capt); Cian Healy, Dan Sheehan, Michael Alaalatoa; Ryan Baird, Devin Toner; Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Vakh Abdaladze, Josh Murphy, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Tommy O'Brien.

Connacht: Oran McNulty; Alex Wootton, Sammy Arnold, Peter Robb, Mack Hansen; Jack Carty (capt), Kieran Marmion; Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham; Leva Fifita, Ultan Dillane; Eoghan Masterson, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Sean Masterson, Cian Prendergast, Caolin Blade, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Farrell.

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU)