A strong first half performance from the Dragons was the platform for this victory over Connacht. Leading 21 points to 3 at the break it was always going to be difficult for Connacht in the second half especially in front of a home crowd gunning for their first win of the new PRO14 Championship.
The Dragons got off to the best possible start when Hallam Amos went over in the corner to leave Connacht trailing by 5 points after two minutes. Jack Carty converted a straightforward penalty a few minutes later but from there to Half time, Bernard Jackman’s team scored a further try and 11 points from the boot of Gavin Hensen.
The second half was much more attacking from Connacht as they ran the ball at every opportunity. They were rewarded in the 53rd minute when Quinn Roux got over after a perfectly worked lineout. Unfortunately for Connacht though this was to prove the last score of the game.
After Carty failed to convert Connacht continued to apply the pressure but there was no way through as the Dragons defence stood resolute.
After the game, Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane spoke of the positives that must be taken from the game: “We simply left ourselves with too much to do in the second half, going in 21 points to 3 at the break was always going to be difficult. But I was proud of how my players responded in the second half. They showed real heart and threw everything at them. But credit to the Dragons their defence stood strong.”
“We have to learn from this though. We are at home to Cardiff next Saturday and we have to pick ourselves up and work hard during the week to get a win next weekend.”
CONNACHT: O’Halloran (Crosbie 26) Leader, Farrell (Griffin 60), Aki, Scholes, Carty, Blade (Marmion 40),Coulson (McCabe 67), McCartney (Heffernan 40), Carey (Bealham 50), Roux (Thornbury 64), Cannon, Masterson, Heenan (Butler 40), Muldoon.
DRAGONS: Kirchner (Rosser 16, Leonard 36) Hewitt, Morgan (Jones 35), Dixon, Amos; Henson, Pretorius, Harris (Davies 76), Dee (Ellis 79), Brown (Fairbrother 76), Landman (Screech 53), Hill, Keddie (Blake 64), Griffiths, Benjamin