The Connacht Eagles bounced back from last weeks disappointment to topple RFU Championship high fliers, Rotherham Titans in the Sportsground.

It was the visitors who started strongest with two first half tries from flanker Jack Preece and scrum half Charlie Mulchrone. The Eagles’ cause was not helped by a yellow card for Fionn Carr who was sent to the sideline for cynical play. A single Jack Carty penalty kept the Eagles in touch at the break as the home side went in 12-3 behind.

However Nigel Carolan’s men rallied in the second half as a well worked move was finished in the corner by centre Rory Parata. Captain Carty added a huge conversion before the Titans struck back with a try under the posts from hooker Tom Cruse. Replacement Lloyd Hayes duly added the extras. However the moment of the game came shortly after when a loose kick was picked up in his own half by Connacht fullback Darragh Leader who cut through the visiting defence like a hot knife through butter before touching down in the left corner. Jack carty kicked another impressive conversion from the touchline as the home side grew in confidence. They took the lead for the first time inside the final ten minutes when replacement Eoghan Masterson broke from the base of a scrum to power over for a try which was again converted by Carty. Rotherham looked to have stolen the points on 77 minutes when they were awarded a penalty in the Eagles’ half which Hayes scored, but the men in green had the last laugh when they were awarded a penalty on their own 10m line. 20 year old Leader confidently stepped up and kicked it between the posts with metres to spare.

It was a deserved win for the Connacht Eagles who made up for a poor showing against Llanelli. Bedford’s win at home to the Welsh side throws the pool wide open with just two points separating the four teams as the Bedford Blues travel to the Sportsground in December.


Connacht Eagles:

15. Darragh Leader,  14. Fionn Carr, 13. Rory Parata, 12. Brian Murphy, 11. Steve Macauley, 10. Jack Carty, 9. Frank Murphy, 1. Denis Buckely, 2. Dave Heffernan, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Dave Nolan, 5. Mick Kearney, 6. Conor Kindregan, 7. James Connolly, 8. Danny Qualter

Replacements :

16. James Rael, 17. Saba Meunargia, 18. Ultane Dillane, 19. Eoghan Masterson, 20. Marcus Walsh, 21. Tadhg Leader, 22. David Panter

Rotherham Titans:

15. Michael Keating,  14. Jamie Broadley, 13. Joe Gill,  12. Jack Roberts,  11. Curtis Wilson,  10. Dallan Murphy,  9. Charlie Mulchrone,  1. Mike Dias,  2. Tom Cruse,  3. Colin Quigley,  4. Barney Maddison,  5. Ben Thomas,  6. Alex Rieder,  7. Jack Preece,  8. Ed Williamson

Replacements :

16. Ben Sowrey, 17 . Mark Tampin,  18. Sean Scanlon, 19. Dan Sanderson, 20. Ali Birch,  21. Dan White, 22. Lloyd Hayes


Eoin De Buitléar signs first Professional contract with Connacht Rugby