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Composed 14-man Connacht outsmart the Kings

The Irish side were a player down for more than 80% of the game.

Tiernan O’Halloran of Connacht scores a try.
Tiernan O’Halloran of Connacht scores a try.
Image: Richard Huggard/INPHO

Southern Kings 19

Connacht 29

Morgan Piek reports from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

A COMPOSED and patient 14-man Connacht retained their good record over South African teams in the Guinness PRO14 on Sunday by beating the Southern Kings 29-19 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Despite being a player down for more than 80% of the game, the Irish outfit played the smarter rugby, especially in the second half, to control the game and play to their strengths. By the same token, the Kings squandered scoring opportunities and yet again, their discipline left much to be desired.

The visitors needed just one minute to get on the board when Colby Fainga’a intercepted a stray Kings pass to stroll in for the softest of tries. Flyhalf, Jack Carty, made no mistake in adding the extra two from straight in front of the posts.

Fullback, Tiernan O’Halloran, doubled the lead for Connacht minutes later, when he ran a beautiful line to carve the Kings defence to pieces. Once again, Carty had no trouble in the landing conversions from straight in front.  

In the 16th minute, Connacht was reduced to 14 men when the replacement, Peter Robb, was red-carded for leading with an elbow into the tackle by Howard Mnisi. The sanction was harsh, as Robb first made contact with the chest of Mnisi, before the neck and head region.

In the 26th minute, Connacht, were down to 13 players when Kyle Godwin was shown a yellow card for not retreating 10 metres in their red zone. With the resulting penalty, the Kings put in a strong scrum, which allowed the scrumhalf, Stefan Ungerer, to exploit the two-man advantage with a converted try.

A short while later, the winger, Erich Cronjé, sliced through the Connacht defence to score a try to level matters in the Friendly City.

On the stroke of half time, Carty landed a penalty to see his team take a narrow 17-14 lead at the half-time break.

After sustained pressure in the opening exchanges of the second stanza, Carty managed to go over in the right corner for a third try by Connacht. His conversion attempt hit the left-hand upright.

Cronjé manged to score another for the Kings when he dotted down in the left corner, however, Masixole Banda, was unsuccessful with the conversion.

After Connacht had been camping in the Kings’ red zone for quite some time, Ruaan Lerm was yellow-carded for repeated infringements by the home team. The resulting penalty scrum earned Connacht a penalty try for the bonus point.

Scorers for Southern Kings:

Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Erich Cronjé, (2), 

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Conversions: Siya Masuku [2/2]

Cards: Ruaan Lerm [Yellow card, 69th minute]

Scorers for Connacht:

Tries: Colby Fainga’a (1st), Tiernan O’Halloran (6th), Jack Carty (47th), Penalty Try

Penalties: Jack Carty [1/1]                                              

Conversions: Jack Carty [2/3]

Cards: Peter Robb [Red card, 16th minute], Kyle Godwin [Yellow card, 25th minute], Tom Daly [Yellow Card, 80th minute]

Southern Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Erich Cronje, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Lusanda Badiyana, 5 JC Astle (captain), 4 Jerry Sexton, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Alandré van Rooyen, 1 Schalk Ferreira.

Replacements – 16 Robin Stevens, 17 Xandré Vos, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Theo Maree, 22 Tiaan Botes, 23 Josiah Twum-Boafo.

Connacht - 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 John Porch, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Jarrad Butler (captain), 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Paul Boyle, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Paddy McAllister.

Replacements – 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Conor Kenny, 19 Eoghan Masterson, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Peter Robb.

About the author:

Morgan Piek

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