Connacht 33

Scarlets 20

 

Connacht powered to their second win of the PRO14 campaign with a 13 point advantage over last season’s finalists Scarlets in the Sportsground. With out-half Jack Carty controlling the game with his kicking from hand and landing six kicks from six off the tee, Connacht looked in a commanding position throughout. Bundee Aki was also in devastating form and his exploits earned him his first A Man of the Match award, in what was his first start of the season.

Connacht led after five minutes when Tom Farrell got over under the posts after an impressive break from Aki. A minute after Carty’s successful conversion, Leigh Halfpenny opened Scarlets account with a straightforward penalty.

Over the next ten minutes Carty and Halfpenny traded penalties, leaving Connacht 10 – 6 up after 20 minutes. In truth Connacht looked the more threatening in attack and Cian Kelleher’s break from the 22 in the 25th minute brought Connacht’s second try of the game.

By now Carty was controlling the game and continually pinned Scarlets back into their own 22. A defensive lapse from the home side left a gap that Jonny McNicholl burst through and touched down for Scarlets first try with a half an hour on the clock.

Connacht didn’t panic though, and Carty steadied the ship again on the stroke of half time with another penalty leaving them good value for their 20 points to 13 lead at the break.

 

It was 23 minutes into the second half before the game saw its next score. Again, it was Carty from the tee. With 10 minutes left on the clock he took on the responsibility of a penalty from the touchline and duly converted again to leave Connacht 26 – 13 to the good going into the final ten minutes.

That 13 points became 6 when winger Tom Prydie got over for Scarlets second try and Halfpenny converted. With seven minutes left on the clock it looked like Connacht were in for a nervous finish. But a massive turnover from replacement scrum half Caoilin Blade set Niyi Adeolokun away who raced in for a brilliant try under the posts. When Carty converted the game was up for Scarlets and the home crowd went wild.

 

A fantastic win for Connacht and the big games keep coming as Leinster are the visitors to the Sportsground next Saturday for another 5:15pm kick off.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Cian Kelleher (Niyi Adeolokun ’64), Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty (Craig Ronaldson ‘ 78), Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade ’62), Denis Buckley (Peter McCabe ’64), Dave Heffernan (Tom McCartney ’54), Finlay Bealham (Dominic Robertson-McCoy ’62), Gavin Thornbury (Ultan Dillane ’4), Quinn Roux, Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler, Robin Copeland (Colby Fainga’a ’64)

 

Scarlets: Leigh Halfpenny (Angus O’Brien ’65), Tom Prydie, Kieron Fonotia (Paul Asquith ’59), Hadleigh Parkes, Johnny McNicholl, Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies (Sam Hidalgo-Clyne ’50), Phil Price (Wyn Jones ’55), Ken Owens (Ryan Elias ’63), Samson Lee (Werner Kruger ’63), Jake Ball, Steve Cummins (David Bullbring ’4), Ed Kennedy, Lewis Rawlins (Uzair Cassiem ’55), Blade Thomson.

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