Check out all the highlights from Saturday’s impressive 46-5 win over the Ospreys at a windy Sportsground – a result that has sent Andy Friend’s side back into the playoff spots with just four games to play.
 

There were plenty of happy faces in the dressing room as Connacht came away with a six-try victory over conference rivals Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14.
 
The bonus point win has sent Andy Friend’s side back into the playoff spots with just four games left in the season.
 
Check out some of the best pics from the dressing room after yesterday’s impressive victory.
 

Match Report courtesy of pro14.org
 
Kieran Marmion’s double inspired a huge win as Connacht maintained their formidable home record with a 46-5 victory over Ospreys in a one-sided Guinness PRO14 tie. Keen to bounce back from the loss to Glasgow last week, Connacht bossed the early exchanges, with Tom Farrell crossing early before two penalties from the excellent Kyle Godwin extended the lead.
 
Matthew Aubrey hit back against the run of play before Matt Healy, Marmion and a penalty try restored Connacht’s dominance. Marmion crossed again before Tom McCartney scored in a comfortable second half as the result was all but decided by Connacht’s early blitz.
 
Connacht flew out of the gates with a slick move to score their first through Farrell as a series of swift handoffs early on allowed the centre to cross the line in acres of space.They continued to pile on the pressure early doors as they showed intensity with every drive to pin their opponents in their own 22.
 
Ospreys appeared to have repelled the pressure but gave away a needless penalty which Godwin dispatched with ease.
 
The out-half converted again as Connacht looked to be firmly in control, but Ospreys’ Olly Cracknell charged down a drop kick and the ball fell for Aubrey to score out wide against the run of play.
 
Godwin appeared to continue his blinder of a first half as he latched onto an opposition kick to storm past four defenders and cross the line. But protests from the Welsh side over an off-the-ball block bore fruit as the try was ruled out and Ospreys’ remained well in it.
 
Godwin and Farrell set up Healy for Connacht’s second try with two incisive passes and the winger crossed between the posts to tee up an easy conversion for Godwin. Marmion was then the beneficiary of a powerful team effort as Connacht drove a maul over the line on the half–hour mark.
 
Ospreys had chances to reduce the deficit before half time but two crucial interceptions saw the ball up the other end of the pitch, where Connacht were awarded a penalty try after a deliberate knock-on from Keelan Giles.
 
The Welsh side’s ill-discipline continued after the break as Jordan Lay received a yellow to give Connacht a two-man advantage.
 
Ospreys rallied well to gain some territory, but Marmion put any notion of a comeback out of sight as he was set up by Jarrad Butler to score between the posts.
 
With the victory secured, Connacht rung in the changes, but Ospreys failed to convert their increased possession into points. Instead, McCartney further embellished the score line as he drove over powerfully following a scrum.

It’s arguably the biggest game of the season so far for both Connacht and Ospreys when they go head to head in the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow.
 
The game is a meeting of two sides battling it out for a playoff spot in Conference A, and with just five games to go every point is crucial in the quest for Heineken Champions Cup rugby next season.
 
Here’s all you need to know about the tie.
 
When’s the game?
Kick-off is on Saturday 2nd March at the earlier time of 2.45pm at The Sportsground.
 
How can I watch it?
The game will be shown live on TG4 with coverage beginning at 2.25pm. In the UK the game will be on Premier Sports.
 
How’s our recent record against them?
The two sides last met at the end of October when the Ospreys withstood a late Connacht fightback to win 22-17 in Bridgend. However it was Connacht that came out on top at the last Sportsground meeting when tries from Eoghan Masterson and Tom Farrell gave us the win 26-15 just over 12 months ago.
 

How will the two teams line up?
Connacht have been boosted by the return of four players from international duty while there’s also a first start of the season for Peter Robb at inside centre. Meanwhile Ospreys have made one change to the side that lost to Munster last weekend with James Hook coming in for Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler.
 


Where can I buy tickets?
Tickets are still available in certain areas and can be purchased online HERE
 

Ahead of tomorrow’s vital Guinness PRO14 clash with the Ospreys, Andy Friend and Eoin McKeon spoke to the media at this week’s pre-match press conference.
 
The pair spoke about moving on from the loss to Glasgow, the challenge facing them at The Sportsground on Saturday, and the importance of the fans as we head into a crucial period of the season.
 

The Connacht squad trained in the rare Galway winter’s sun this morning as Andy Friend’s side continued their preparations for Saturday’s massive inter-conference clash with the Ospreys at The Sportsground (k/o 2.45pm).
 
Results last week means the game is a must win for both sides in their quest for a playoff spot in the Guinness PRO14, which also confirms a spot in the Heineken Champions Cup next season.
 
Tickets for the game are still on sale and can be purchased HERE.
 

Tickets are now available for two home games towards the latter stages of the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14.
 
On Saturday 16th February (k/o 5pm) we play host to the Cheetahs, and then two weeks later on Saturday 2nd March (k/o 2.45pm) the Ospreys pay a visit to the Sportsground.
 
Both Cheetahs and the Ospreys are in Conference A alongside Connacht, so the ties will go a long way to deciding the make-up of the final table. That means your support will be required more than ever.
 
Tickets are available HERE and for any queries please email [email protected]

A resolute defensive display and tries from Eoghan Masterson and Tom Farrell gave Connacht a 26-15 win over their Conference A rivals Ospreys at the Sportsground on Friday night. The Welsh side enjoyed plenty of possession but Connacht stood firm in defence for the majority of the contest and converted their scoring opportunities when they came around.

“We’re thrilled with the result but it was a bit of a scratchy performance from us,” head coach Kieran Keane said after the game.

“Ospreys were really good in my eyes. They put us under a lot of heat. The try before half-time (from Masterson) was compelling and it buoyed us at the break.”

Connacht were forced to withstand long periods of Ospreys pressure and Keane was satisfied, for the most part, with his side’s defensive efforts.

“Some of our defence, for maybe three-quarters of the game, was really positive. There were only a couple of slip-ups. We just have to fix that,” he said.

Out-half Craig Ronaldson impressed on his way to the Man of the Match award and Keane agreed when it was put to him that the Dubliner had performed well.

“He did, and his goal-kicking was pretty good too, and his direction was good, and some of his defence was really good. He had a good day at the office.”

Next up for Connacht is a home clash with Zebre on Friday evening. This win is a shot in the arm for Connacht’s hopes in Conference A but Keane was reluctant to look too far ahead.

“I’m just taking everything one game at a time, trying to build us up. We’ll get what we deserve, in my opinion. If we keep building, who knows? We might be there when they’re turning for home,” he offered.

FULL TIME | Connacht 26 Ospreys 15

A try from Eoghan Masterson and an outstanding individual effort from Tom Farrell to get in under the posts was the main difference between the sides. Man of the Match Craig Ronaldson kicked 16 points and he spoke to us after the game.

 

 

 

 

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