Connacht Rugby scored seven tries in a 53 – 5 win over Benetton Treviso at the Sportsground this evening. Matt Healy touched down twice to add to a score sheet featuring Tiernan O’Halloran, Jake Heenan, Denis Buckley, Aly Muldowney and Danie Poolman as well as 18 points from the boot of Man of the Match Craig Ronaldson.

Treviso’s only points came from a Sam Christie try as they remain 11th, four points ahead of fellow countrymen Zebre.

There was just five minutes on the clock when O’Halloran opened the scoring, the fullback running onto a perfectly timed offload from his team mate Healy who dummied past the Treviso defence. Outhalf Ronalson kicked the conversion and was up to the tee minutes later for a well taken penalty kick to make it 10 – 0.

Treviso fullback Jayden Hayward had the chance to respond immediately but his effort was wide from five metres outside the 22. And on the half hour mark, Ronaldson make it three from three with a penalty kick taken from in front of the posts.

The visiting side set up a perfect platform minutes later with a subperb penalty kick to the corner from their outhalf James Ambrosini. A solid maul was set up from the resulting lineout to allow the pack to drive forward before spraeding the ball out to centre Christie who crashed over for his side’s first points. Hayward sent his second attempt at the posts wide.

Just before half time, the Italian side had another opportunity but a five metre lineout was brilliantly stolen by lock Quinn Roux and Connacht relieved the pressure.

Half time: Connacht 13 – 5 Treviso

Connacht returned rejuvinated in the second half and immediately the Connacht supporters were celebrating a try from Healy but the winger had a afoot in touch.  Less than a minute later however, an impressive driving maul, with the backs also involved, allowed 22-year-old Heenan to ground the ball for the flanker’s first try of the season.

Ronaldson maintained his perfect record from tee with an expertly-taken touchline conversion to take Connacht to a fifteen point lead.

Next up it was the backs turn to score again and Healy made sure he was in this time after a brilliant break from Poolman to offload. Again Ronaldson’s converson was on target.

Pat Lam’s men had the four-try bonus point wrapped up after 54 minutes when another unstoppable driving maul allowed Buckley to steer in over the whitewash, with Ronaldson adding the extra two points.

After the coaching staff started to empty the replacements bench, the referee Andre McMenemy went to the TMO to confirm a try from lock Muldowney who crashed over from close range. Ronaldson’s so far perfect kicking record was broken as he pulled this effort wide of the posts.

There was another try for wing Healy after some excellent play from the backs and accurate hands from replacemetns Conor Finn and Jack Carty. Ronaldson converted from the touchline once again.

Finally with just a minute remaining on the clock, Poolman marked his 50th Connacht cap, joining Healy as top try scorer this season, with a late score in the right hand corner. Ronaldson’s successful conversion  signalled the end of the game and Connacht cemented their 6th place spot in the league after round 16.

Full time: Connacht 53 – 5 Treviso

Connacht: T O’Halloran, N Adeolokun, D Poolman, D McSharry, M Healy, C Ronaldson, J Cooney, D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, Q Roux, A Muldowney, J Muldoon (cpt), J Heenan, E Masterson.

Replacements: C Finn for Adeolokun (41m), M Kearney for Roux (42m), G Naoupu for Masterson (52m), S Delahunt for McCartney, R Loughney for Buckley and I Porter for Cooney (all 57m), F Bealham for Ah You (62m), J Carty for O’Halloran (66m).

Treviso: J Hayward, S Ragusi, A Pratichetti, S Christie, L Nitoglia, J Ambrosini, A Lucchese, M Zanusso, D Giazzon (cpt), R Harden, T Vallejos, M Swanepoel, N Cattina, D Budd, M Luamanu.

Replacements: H Seniloli for Lucchesse (32m), R Acosta for Zanusso, S Manu for R Harden, and M Barbini for N Cattina (all 41m), A Pavenello for T Vallejos (48m), J Carlisle for Hayward (52m), R Acosta for Giazzon (63), R Seniloli for (66m),

Yellow cards: S Manu (70m)

Referee: A McMcMenemy (SRU).

Man of the Match: Craig Ronaldson

Attendance: 3, 880

Related

Connacht Rugby announce signings of Ben O’Donnell and Abraham Papali’i