Connacht 24

Southern Kings 12

John Porch scored two tries as Connacht moved to within a point of Conference B leaders Munster with a hard-fought victory against Isuzu Southern Kings.

The Australian winger crossed once in each half, while further scores from Bundee Aki and Finlay Bealham settled a bonus-point win.

The Kings stay bottom of the Conference with just a single win this season, but they impressed at the Sportsground and scored two tries through Erich Cronje and Scott van Breda.

Connacht, who arrived with four wins from six league games, started impressively, with Ireland international centre Aki powering over in the 12th minute.

But the Kings, filled with confidence from securing their first ever Guinness PRO14 away win at Ospreys last time out, hit back as centre Cronje wrestled his way over four minutes later.

However, Connacht boast great forward power and they moved back ahead mid-way through the first half thanks to tries from prop Bealham and winger Porch.

The Kings hit back on the stroke of half-time through full-back Van Breda, who only joined on loan from Worcester Warriors this week.

After camping near the Connacht line, the Kings moved right and Van Breda dotted down after stepping up to collect a flat pass.

Connacht strengthened their advantage early in the second half, as Conor Fitzgerald and Aki combined to release Porch, who sprinted in for his second try in the corner.

No more points were scored in a lacklustre second half but that won’t matter to the hosts, who got the job done.

John Porch underlined just why Connacht decided to take him to Galway. With two predatory tries, the wing made the difference as the Irish province once again showed how dangerous they will be this season.

Next up for Connacht is back to back Champions Cup games against Gloucester with the English Premiership side coming to the Sportsground on the 14th of December – For tickets click here

Connacht Scorers – Tries: John Porch (2), Bundee Aki, Finlay Bealham. Conversions: Conor Fitzgerald (2 from 4)

Connacht: Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin (Peter Robb), Bundee Aki, John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald (Jack Carty), Caolin Blade (Angus Lloyd), Denis Buckley (Matthew Burke), Tom McCartney (Shane Delahunt), Finlay Bealham (Dominic Robertson-McCoy), Ultan Dillane  (Joe Maksymiw), Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Paul Boyle (Jarrad Butler).

Connacht have been boosted by the return of a number of players for tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 meeting with the Southern Kings at The Sportsground (k/o 5.15pm).
 
Bundee Aki is named at inside centre having missed last week’s Heineken Champions Cup defeat to Toulouse, and he plays alongside Kyle Godwin. There’s also a return from injury for Niyi Adeolokun who joins a back three with John Porch on the opposite wing and Matt Healy at full-back.
 
The backs are completed by Caolin Blade and Conor Fitzgerald who continue their half-back partnership.
 
In the pack there’s an all-new front row from the side that started in Toulouse last week. Denis Buckley has recovered from an illness to start at loosehead with Finlay Bealham at tighthead and the in-form Tom McCartney as hooker.
 
Quinn Roux continues to captain the side from the second row alongside Ultan Dillane, while a back row of Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a and Paul Boyle completes the side.
 
Meanwhile club captain Jarrad Butler is likely to see some game time after missing the opening two games in Europe due to injury. The back row is named among the replacements.
 
Commenting on today’s squad announcement, Head Coach Andy Friend said:
“We were very disappointed not to come away with anything from France last week, so this is a good opportunity for the squad to bounce back. Bundee Aki, Niyi Adeolokun and Jarrad Butler are all back in the squad so we’re improving on the injury front.”
 
Speaking on the challenge posed by the Kings, Friend added:
“It’s important to keep our discipline in games like this. The Kings have had two weeks without a game, so all their focus has been on us, and they’ll be looking to build on their win away to the Ospreys as well. We’re heading into a few crucial games against Gloucester so it’s important we keep building our performances.”
 
CONNACHT SQUAD V SOUTHERN KINGS
(15-9): Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade. (1-8): Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (C), Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Paul Boyle.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Jarrad Butler, Angus Lloyd, Jack Carty, Peter Robb.
 
FIND YOUR MATCH TICKETS HERE

You can’t beat a match night at the Sportsground! It was a special occasion on Saturday night as we faced South Africa’s Southern Kings for the first time and secured a bonus-point 32-10 victory.

Thanks to our supporters who created such a fantastic atmosphere and the All Ireland winning Galway hurlers for attending as our guests of honour. We are away to Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday before hosting Cardiff Blues on Saturday 23rd of September at 3.15pm at the Sportsground.

Buy tickets for Connacht v Cardiff Blues here and save up to 20% on gate prices.

Relive the best moments from our 32-10 bonus point win over Southern Kings at the Sportsground on Saturday night.

Tries from Tom Farrell, Eoghan Masterson, Ultan Dillane and Darragh Leader secured the victory as Jack Carty kicked five from five.

We’re away to Dragons next Friday before hosting Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground on Saturday, September 23 at 3.15pm.

Buy tickets for Cardiff here and save up to 20% on gate prices. 

Delighted to get the job done, getting the five points was very important”

Out-half Steve Crosbie reflects on last night’s BP win over Southern Kings and looks ahead to Friday night’s visit to Newport Gwent Dragons.

We are back at home on Saturday week as the Cardiff Blues visit the Sportsground. Buy tickets online here and save 15%. 

 

Connacht v Southern Kings – Saturday 9th Sept, 19:35. Gates open at 18:05.

Team Announcement

Tiernan O’Halloran returns this weekend after his successful tour away with Ireland during the summer. New signing Denis Coulson is also in line for his Connacht debut.

Read more here.

Guests of Honour

We are delighted to announce that All Ireland Champions Galway have accepted our invitation to be special guests tomorrow night. Fans will have the opportunity to mark Galway’s fantastic achievement when Michael Donoghue and his players along with the Liam McCarthy Cup are introduced to the crowd.

Video

Kieran Keane & Denis Buckley preview the Southern Kings clash

Autograph Alley

There will be a change to the positions of Autograph Alley.

  • Clan Terrace Autograph Alley: Inside the Clan Bar
  • Main Terrace Autograph Alley: Inside the Main Stand

This week James Connolly, Conor McKeon, Gavin Thornbury and Rory Scholes will be down meeting supporters. Make sure you’re in position by 18:45 to meet the lads.

Season Ticket Packs

Season Ticketers can pick up their packs in the Heineken Rugby Clubhouse and the Main Stand before the match and also at half time.

There are less than 24 hours left to purchase a Season Ticket, buy here!

Free WiFi

We are delighted to offer free WiFi for all fans this season throughout the ground, powered by Magnet Networks.

The Heineken Rugby Clubhouse

All Season Ticketers can get access to the Heineken Rugby Clubhouse for pre-match, half-time and post match entertainment. Craig Ronaldson and James Mitchell will be there for pre-match interviews and there will be player interviews after the game too. Both teams will also be down there for their post-match meal.

We hope you enjoy the game!

Kieran Keane and Denis Buckley spoke to the media along with Southern Kings Assistant Coach Barend Pieterse ahead of Saturday night’s historic encounter at the Sportsground (7.35pm).

Tickets are still available for the game on Saturday night (7.35pm) with savings of up to 15% available when purchased online.

Our starting line-up will be announced at 11.45am tomorrow.

The Connacht medical team have issued the below update on the squad ahead of Saturday night’s historic Guinness PRO14 clash against South Africa’s Southern Kings.

Tickets are still available for the game on Saturday night (7.35pm) with savings of up to 15% available when purchased online.

Update on returning players:
Tiernan O’Halloran has returned to team training following knee surgery at the end of last season.

Prop:
Finlay Bealham sustained a head injury in the Glasgow game and is currently following return to play protocols.

Lock:
Andrew Browne is rehabilitating from an achilles tendon injury and expected to be out for a number of weeks.

Back Row:
Naulia Dawai is continuing his recovery from a hamstring injury and is aiming to return to full training in the coming weeks.

Scrum-half:
Caolin Blade will re-integrate into team training this week as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury in the pre-season game against Munster.

Centre:
Peter Robb underwent surgery for an ongoing hip issue earlier this week and will be out of action until December.

Back Three:
Niyi Adeolokun is continuing his recovery from knee surgery under the supervision of the medical and fitness teams.

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