A resolute defensive display and tries from Eoghan Masterson and Tom Farrell gave Connacht a 26-15 win over their Conference A rivals Ospreys at the Sportsground on Friday night. The Welsh side enjoyed plenty of possession but Connacht stood firm in defence for the majority of the contest and converted their scoring opportunities when they came around.

“We’re thrilled with the result but it was a bit of a scratchy performance from us,” head coach Kieran Keane said after the game.

“Ospreys were really good in my eyes. They put us under a lot of heat. The try before half-time (from Masterson) was compelling and it buoyed us at the break.”

Connacht were forced to withstand long periods of Ospreys pressure and Keane was satisfied, for the most part, with his side’s defensive efforts.

“Some of our defence, for maybe three-quarters of the game, was really positive. There were only a couple of slip-ups. We just have to fix that,” he said.

Out-half Craig Ronaldson impressed on his way to the Man of the Match award and Keane agreed when it was put to him that the Dubliner had performed well.

“He did, and his goal-kicking was pretty good too, and his direction was good, and some of his defence was really good. He had a good day at the office.”

Next up for Connacht is a home clash with Zebre on Friday evening. This win is a shot in the arm for Connacht’s hopes in Conference A but Keane was reluctant to look too far ahead.

“I’m just taking everything one game at a time, trying to build us up. We’ll get what we deserve, in my opinion. If we keep building, who knows? We might be there when they’re turning for home,” he offered.

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