Connacht claimed their fourth Pro14 win in a row with a valuable win over the Ospreys in the Liberty Stadium. Away wins in Wales have proven difficult for Connacht over the past two seasons and having gone down to the Ospreys in the corresponding fixture last year, Connacht were determined to add to the three bonus point wins over in the past three rounds.
It was a wet a windy evening in Swansea, as the teams took to the field in conditions akin to an average winters evening in the Sportsground.
The Ospreys were first to take the lead when Luke Price converted an easy penalty inside four minutes.
From there to half time though Connacht dominated the game. In the sixth minute, Niyi Adeolokun received a pass out wide just inside the Ospreys half and when he kicked ahead there was only one winner as he touched down for the second game in a row.
After Ospreys gave away a succession of penalties in the opening 25 minutes, they found themselves down to 14 men. Connacht asserted their advantage immediately and when Peter Robb received a pass 5 metres out, nobody was going to stop him as he drove over. Conor Fitzgerald kicked his second conversion of the game to add to a successful penalty – leaving Connacht leading 17-3 at the break.
There was always going to be an Ospreys purple patch and it came as the teams emerged for the second half, with replacement out half James Hook beginning to control the game. Ospreys pressure was rewarded on the 55th minute when they scored an excellent try in the corner which was excellently converted.
From there though Connacht reasserted their control and won the kicking battle. Their territorial advantage was rewarded with a penalty after sustained pressure which Fitzgerald duly converted to maintain his 100 per cent kicking record.
From there to the end an Ospreys come back never looked likely and their final act was an attempted penalty from halfway to salvage a bonus point loss, which sailed wide with 80 minutes on the clock.
So Connacht go home with another four points on the board and maintain top spot in Conference B of the Pro14. Next up is two massive home games against Leinster next Friday and then the return to Champions Cup action against Montpellier in two weeks.
Tries – Niyi Adeolokun 1, Peter Robb 1.
Penalties – Conor Fitzgerald 2
Conversions – Conor Fitzgerald 2
Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun (Stephen Fitzgerald), Tom Farrell, Peter Robb (Tom Daly), John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald, Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade) (1-8): Denis Buckley (Matthew Burke), Dave Heffernan (Jonny Murphy), Dominic Robertson McCoy (Conor Kenny), Ultan Dillane (Cillian Gallagher), Joe Maksymiw (Robin Copeland), Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle.