The Connacht Eagles kept their home record intact today with a 12 – 10 victory over Llanelli RFC at the Sportsground.

Outhalf Craig Ronaldson, on his return from a hamstring injury, kicked four penalties for his side. 

Despite being defeated 76 – 14 by the same Llanelli team in round 1, Nigel Carolan’s side put in a gutsy performance today to register their third win of the season in the cross-border competition.

Ronaldson opened the scoring on 10 minutes with a well-struck penalty kick. Shortly after, Eagles Number 8 Eoghan Masterson was shown yellow for failing to roll away. Down to 14 men, Llanelli piled on the pressure in the 22 but the hosts did well in defense to keep them out.

Half time score: Eagles 3 – 0 Llanelli

There were no changes for the Eagles from the restart and five minutes in, Ronaldson kicked a penalty from outside the 22 to put his side 6 – 0 up. The former Lansdowne captain missed his only shot at goal on 41 minutes, taken from 30m out.

It was not until the 55th minute that Llanelli got themselves on to the score board and it was through the boot of their out half Josh Lewis. Ronaldson responded two minutes later with a third successful shot at goal to make it 9 – 3.

Lewis missed a chance to close the gap when his penalty kick went wide of the posts and the Eagles went further ahead, again from a Ronaldson penalty kick from the 22.

Replacement scrum half Caolin Blade was unfortunate to have a try disallowed when the ref called for ‘crossing’.

Llanelli scored a 75th minute try when a grubber kick was chased by their winger Aaron Warren who touched down over the line. The conversion was added by replacement outhalf Dan Jones to bring it to just a two point game with four minutes remaining. But there were no more scores and Connacht took the win to leave them in fourth place in pool 3 of the B&I Cup.

Full time score: Eagles 12 – 10 Llanelli

Connacht Eagles

15          Shane Layden
14          David Panter
13          Rory Parata
12          Conor Finn
11          Steve Macauley
10          Craig Ronaldson
9            Frank Murphy (captain)

1             Ronan Loughney
2             Dave Heffernan
3             JP Cooney
4             Danny Qualter
5             Aly Muldowney
6             Aaron Conneely
7             Rory Moloney
8             Eoghan Masterson

Replacements (from):

16          James Rael
17          Finlay Bealham
18          Aaron McCloskey
19          Shane Casey
20          Caolin Blade
21          Tadhg Leader
22          Brian Murphy

Llanelli RFC

15 Steff Evans 14 Aaron Warren 13 IoIo Evans 12 Steff Hughes 11 Kyle Evans 10 Josh Lewis 9 Connor Lloyd 1 Wyn Jones 2 Darran Harris 3 Horatiu Pungea 4 Carwyn Jones 5 Llewelyn Jones 6 Lewis Rawlins 7 Craig Price 8 Stuart Leach


16 Gareth Thomas 17 Ryan Elias 18 Ben Leung 19 Nathan White 20 Jack Evans 21 Dan Jones 22 Dion Jones


Eoin De Buitléar signs first Professional contract with Connacht Rugby