Connacht v Cardiff Rugby

Connacht v Edinburgh

Connacht v Emirates Lions

Connacht v Cell C Sharks

Connacht v Ulster

Connacht v Benetton

Connacht v Scarlets

Connacht secure bonus point win over Scarlets

A controlled second half performance guided Connacht to a 36-14 victory over Scarlets tonight.

Tries scored by Niall Murray, Irish international Mack Hansen, substitute Jack Aungier and a penalty try got them the all important bonus point.

Outside centre Stefan Evans scored the only try of the night for the Welsh men in what was a disappointing performance from them.

It is only Connacht’s second win from their opening six games. They’ll be looking to build on that next week against the Ospreys.

It only took Connacht thirty seconds to open their account. Second row Murray blocked down Kieran Hardy’s box kick, running in for an easy score. It was the dream start.

Scarlet’s responded well. They got into the opposition half, building the phases nicely before they were given a penalty because of a high tackle. Sam Costellow kicked the penalty to get his team on the board.

Although, Jack Carty restored Connacht’s 5-point advantage almost instantly, through a penalty of his own.

In the 16th minute, the scores became level. A poor Carty kick was fielded by Johnny McNicholl who spotted the gaps from broken play. He passed to his inside centre Evans who got in for the try.

Both teams had periods of possession. They traded a penalty each. It was 11-11.

A good restart by the hosts, forced the error out of the opposition. They were camped in  the red zone for a few minutes before  Hansen got the ball out wide to score their second try of the night. The home team had a 16-11 lead at halftime.

Andy Friend’s charges started the half well. They got themselves in the right area of the pitch again. They looked as if they were about to score, edging closer to the line before their number eight Paul Boyle was sent to the bin for dangerous play.

Despite being reduced to just fourteen men. The home side continued to control the game and it wasn’t long before they were in again.

A big carry from substitute Aungier was pushed on by Murray who helped his prop over for the try.

Scarlets substitute Rhys Patchell kicked a penalty which was matched by David Hawkshaw. The men from the west now led by ten points.

They dominated much of the closing stages, scoring two more tries. One was a penalty try and the other was by Hansen who chased Carty well measured kick to touch the ball down for their fifth try. The game finished 31-14.

Connacht v Leinster

Leinster keep Connacht scoreless at the Sportsgrounds

Leinster scraped past a valiant Connacht 10-0 to maintain their 100% winning record in the competition.

It was an error filled game in really difficult conditions. Connacht had their opportunities, but their inaccuracy cost them on the night

Cormac Foley scored an early try. He was the only man to get over the whitewash in a game where tries were at a premium.

It was far from the performances we are used to seeing from Leinster, but they did enough to take the points on the night and make it five wins from five so far this season.

Connacht conceded an early penalty to give Leinster easy access into the redzone. Connacht decided not to contest. The maul edged them forward before Josh Van der Flier peeled off, making a big carry, passing to scrum-half Cormac Foley who scored on his first start of the season after just a couple of minutes. Ross Byrne added the extras. 

In the 22nd minute, They almost extended their lead when inform Dan Sheehan was at the back of a fast-moving maul, but he was just held up over the line. 

In the opening quarter, the visitors dominated possession. The hosts had to absorb a lot of pressure. Second Rows Gavin Thornbury and Niall Murray were putting in big shifts in defence.

The hosts started to get a foothold in the game. After about 25 minutes, they found themselves on the doorstep of the scoring zone. They swung it wide to Mack Hansen who was in acres of space on his left wing, but the pass was just beyond him, opportunity missed, 

Ill Discipline and uncharacteristic mistakes were beginning to creep into Leinster’s game.  With their team getting more into the game, the home crowd got more involved. They almost had something to cheer about when a scrum penalty got them into the twenty-two, just before halftime. They got a lineout maul going. Then, they went to the pick and goes. Backrow Paul Boyle looked to be over the line, but he was held up by Van Der Flier who was one of the standout performers throughout the contest.

They had a penalty advantage, so they opted to kick to the corner again, however that maul was driven into touch by the strong defence. They just weren’t accurate enough at maul time. The halftime whistle blew. Leinster going into the break with a 7-0 advantage. 

The hosts came out in the 2nd half on the front foot. They definitely had more the ball in this period, however, they were constantly met by a wall of blue men. 

Substitutes Conor Oliver and Caolin Blade made a big impact when they were introduced. In the 62nd minute, the men from the west found themselves in the right area of the pitch again, thanks to a Jack Carty kick to touch. Although, the lineout didn’t go as planned, as the throw to the tail didn’t reach the intended target. A massive effort from replacement Andrew Porter at the scrum, earned his team an important penalty and an opportunity to clear their lines. 

A great Van der Flier break got the men in blue back in the Connacht half. They earned a penalty which was kicked successfully by new arrival on the pitch Ciaran Frawley. Their lead was now 10-0.

There was a slight glimmer of home of a losing bonus point when Andy Friend's men won a late penalty. Going for every inch, the ball was kicked dead as the final whistle sounded. it finished in a 10-0 Leinster win.

Connacht v Munster

Connacht secure first win of season in Inter-pro

Tries from Mack Hansen, Finlay Bealham and Paul Boyle helped Connacht secure their first URC victory of the season, in a narrow 20-11 win over Munster this evening.

Connacht seemed to take a huge boost from a packed Sportsground as they dominated proceedings early on. Andy Friend’s side bullied Munster at the scrum early on, with Finlay Bealham causing Dave Kilkoyne trouble on a number of occasions.

With Connacht pressure starting to cause Munster trouble, they opened the scoring in the eighth minute. After possession inside the Munster 22, a quick ball out wide found the electric Mack Hansen who went over in the corner for the game’s opening score.

Jack Carty was denied by the post from his conversion attempt and their lead remained at five points.

Carty did have the chance to extend his side’s lead ten minutes later with a central penalty inside the Munster half. Yet again, Carty was denied by the upright and despite all of their dominance inside the opening quarter, they only had a five-point lead to show for it.

Munster did get back into the game in the 23rd minute and in similar fashion to how Connacht found their try, Patrick Campbell finished superbly in the corner to level the scores.

Ben Healy missed the follow up conversion but did add a penalty on the stroke of half time to send Munster into the break with an 8-5 lead.

Just after the interval, Ben Healy kept his cool again from a penalty to extend Munster’s lead to six points.

Connacht kept themselves in the contest after a wonderful 50/22 kick from Conor Fitzgerald. From the resulting lineout, the hosts opted for a maul with Ireland international Finlay Bealham bouldering over the try line to bring his side to within a point of Munster.

Jack Carty’s poor form from the kicking tee remained as he missed the follow up conversion and Munster remained narrowly in control.

Connacht did take the lead for the first time since the first half from a penalty, with Conor Fitzgerald firing his attempt straight between the posts.

With less than two minutes remaining, Paul Boyle scored a third try for Connacht with a powerful drive over the line from close range. Conor Fitzgerald added the extras from the tee from an acute angle, sealing a huge win for Connacht.

Connacht v Zebre

Connacht end URC campaign on a high

Connacht ended their season in the United Rugby Championship, with a narrow 22-20 bonus point win over Zebre in Galway this afternoon.

A performance they will be content by as they had to endure a late scare to put down the challenge of the Italian minnows.

The home supporters showing their support for their departing players, as all eye will now turn to the 2022/23 season.

Zebre signalled early that they had arrived in Galway to play rugby, controlling the game for the opening minutes but could not convert chances into a try scoring opportunity, they did however lead after four minutes, Carlo Canna landing a penalty for a 3-0 lead.

The Connacht reply was swift and emphatic, after kicking for touch from penalty, they worked the phases well and a couple of fantastic offloads saw them gain ground to the try line, a ruck formed just short of the line and Kieran Marmion was on hand to cross after 7 minutes, the missed conversion leaving just a two point gap in the tie.

After the opening try for the hosts, it looked to have steadied the ship in their favour as they began to come alive and showcase their array of talents, in the attractive style of rugby we expect to see from Andy Friend's outfit.

Niall Murray was the next man on the board for the Westerners, almost a carbon copy of the opening try, a well worked move which saw the Forward power his way over the line for a 10-0 lead on the 16th minute mark, again Jack Carty just missed the target with the conversion. 

Zebre were having their door knocked off the hinges by the Connacht attack, but were managing well in defence to push them back, however once the Connacht maul came into the tie it was game over for the visitors, driving them back toward their line before Eoghan Masterson in his final appearance in green, ran over the third try. Carty found his range to make it 17-3 before the half hour mark.

The Azzurri were up against it for the majority of the half, but showed signs of life after the clock ticked into the red, Lorenzo Pani broke for the line and despite the best efforts of three Connacht players he crossed for their first try of the afternoon, Canna missed the conversion as they reduced the deficit to 17-8 going into the interval.

It took just nine minutes after the restart for Connacht to get their bonus point try, John Porch skipping through the tackles and evaded the Zebre defence before touching down for the try, Carty would again miss the conversion but a healthy 22-8 lead saw them looking comfortable.

As a contest the second half was a dull and dismal affair, evident by the hush coming from the Sportsground, it really failed to come alive until Zebre got their second try after 67 minutes, substitute prop Matteo Nocera getting over after a well worked move in the ruck.

Alarm bells started to ring two minutes from time as Enrico Lucchin ran through the defence, as the men in green failed to land a tackle on the centre as he breezed his way over the try line, the conversion made it 22-20 into the final minutes, a nail biting end to the tie but one Connacht will be happy they managed to come out with a win.