Newport Gwent Dragons 8
FOR THE FIRST time in 11 years, Connacht have won four league games on the spin after a 24-8 win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade today. The result also means they have jumped to seventh in the RaboDirect Pro12 table on 32 points.
An impressive opening quarter for the visitors did most of the damage with tries from captain John Muldoon and Rodney Ah You giving Connacht a 14-3 lead after 24 minutes.
Dragons had earlier opened the scoring with a Jason Tovey penalty following a turnover at the breakdown. However, the 24-year old missed a chance to double their lead four minutes later when his long range effort slipped wide.
Connacht looked to have scored in the 12th minute but Kieran Marmion was ruled to have played the ball early after the TMO was called into action. However, Pat Lam’s men didn’t have long to wait for their first try when Muldoon pounced after a Dragons’ scrum capitulated.
After Rober Sidoldi was shown a yellow for constant infringement at the breakdown, the Connacht pack once again set to work with Ah You diving over the line for their second score of the game after a lineout.
The Welsh side came out stronger after the break but they still struggled to break down the Connacht defence and the game was effectively over when Muldoon went over for his second score on 67 minutes.
Thought the Dragons took advantage of a Darragh Leader yellow card just two minutes later, it was too little too late for the hosts and Michael Swift’s try in the final minute was enough to give Connacht the bonus point win.
Scorers for Connacht:
Tries: Muldoon (2), Ah You, Swift
Con: Parks (2)
Scorers for Dragons:
Connacht: R Henshaw; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry (Leader 20), F Carr; D Parks (M Nikora 65), K Marmion; D Buckley (R Loughney 73), J Harris-Wright (D Haffernan 38), R Ah You (N White 47), A Muldowney, M Kearney (M Swift 54), J Muldoon (capt.), E Masterson (A Browne 50), E McKeon.
Dragons: D Evans; T Prydie, R Wardle, J Dixon (Smith 47), W Harries; J Tovey, R Rees (W Evans 53); O Evans (Price 28), H Gustafson (Dee 28), B Douglas (Bell 28), A Coombs (capt.), R Sidoli (M Screech 57), L Evans, N Cudd, N Talei (T Faletau 50).
Referee: George Clancy