Connacht were defeated 56-8 away to Edinburgh tonight in the United Rugby Championship.
Despite establishing an 8-0 lead at the DAM Health Stadium, through a Peter Sullivan try and a Jack Carty penalty, the away team's quest for three URC wins on the bounce was ended when the Scottish team scored eight unanswered, converted tries.
Connacht’s next outing will be the home InterPro at home to Leinster on March 26th
With the artificial surface lending itself to a quick, expansive style of rugby, the opening exchanges saw both teams commit to running the ball, with Conor Oliver particularly impressing in this facet of the game for the away team.
Connacht’s cause was helped when the home team’s number eight Mesu Kunavula was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Caolin Blade. The visitors didn’t take long to make their man advantage count when Carty – after a typically expansive move ended with Edinburgh being penalized for offside – coolly slotted a penalty to open the scoring at 3-0.
The visitors were in the ascendancy for the majority of the opening half, but it took until past the twentieth minute, thanks to steely Edinburgh defence, for them to make it count on the try-scoring board.
A beautiful sweeping move – with Carty and Tom Daly both lending their playmaking capabilities – moved the ball from left to right. Dave Heffernan then supplied the try assist to Peter Sullivan, whose step avoided the cover defence and saw him touch down for a deserved 8-0 lead.
To their credit, the home team worked their way back into the contest near the half-hour mark and they opened their account for the evening when Emiliano Boffelli collected Blair Kinghorn’s offload and dove in the score to take the score to 8-7 in Connacht’s favour.
The try seemed to revive the hosts and with renewed confidence, they scored another barely five minutes later. Kinghorn was once again integral, starting a move that ended with full-back Henry Immelman dotting down the ball that, with the added conversion, took the score to 14-8 in favour of Edinburgh.
The Scottish team continued their momentum and they made it three tries in quick succession when Dave Cherry – the Scottish international hooker – touched down from close distance. Boffelli made it three conversions from three and Edinburgh held their 21-8 lead going into the interval.
Edinburgh carried their try-scoring form into the second half and they registered their bonus point try just a minute after the half began. Kinghorn’s pass found Ben Muncaster and the flanker returned the favour and the fly-half ran in the try. Boffelli kept his 100% kicking record alive and the home team lead 28-8.
Four tries soon became five for the hosts when Ramiro Moyano, the Argentinian international, was fed a pass by Kinghorn and he showed pace to run in for the try, which Boffelli converted to lengthen the hosts’ score to 35-8.
Edinburgh continued to pile on the pressure and they scored three more tries – through Boffelli, who also added three conversions, Glen Young and Ben Vellacott – to seal the win at 56-8.
15: John Porch
14; Peter Sullivan
13: Sammy Arnold
12: Tom Daly
11: Alex Wootton
10: Jack Carty ©
9: Caolin Blade
8: Paul Boyle
7: Conor Oliver
6: Cian Prendergast
5: Leva Fifita
4: Oisin Dowling
3: Jack Aungier
2: Dave Heffernan
1: Jordan Duggan
16: Shane Delahunt for Heffernan
17: Tietie Tuimauga for Duggan
18: Dominic Robertson McCoy for Aungier
19: Niall Murray for Fifita
20: Abraham Papali’i for Boyle
21: Kieran Marmion for Blade
22: Tom Farrell for Wootton
23: Jarrad Butler for Oliver