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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Keane's tenure up and running as Connacht see off Pat Lam's Bristol

McCabe, Marmion and Scholes crossed in front of a big crowd at the Sportsground.

Rory Scholes' late try sealed the win.
Rory Scholes' late try sealed the win.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Connacht 24

Bristol 14

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Kieran Keane recorded his first victory in the job as his side scored four tries to see off Pat Lam’s Bristol in front of a crowd of 3,800 at the Sportsgrounds yesterday.

The sides went into the break level after tries from Peter McCabe and David Lemi but the western province took control of the contest thereafter with Kieran Marmion and new signing Rory Scholes crossing, while referee George Clancy also awarded Connacht a penalty try.

It meant a losing return to Galway for former head coach Lam as Connacht inflicted a fourth defeat of pre-season on the English Championship club.

McCabe got Keane’s men off to the perfect start as he crashed over after just two minutes but the visitors were quickly back on level terms as winger Lemi capitalised on confusion in the Connacht rearguard to cross in a frenetic first 40.

Pat Lam Pat Lam returned to Galway yesterday. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

It remained 7-7 at the interval before Connacht regained the lead almost straight after the restart as Marmion found the gap at the bottom of the ruck to dot down.

A penalty try extended Connacht’s lead, only for Bristol to come roaring back through Mat Protheroe’s stunning individual score.

But new arrival Scholes scored his second try in as many games to ensure victory for the home side.

Connacht begin their Guinness Pro14 campaign against Glasgow in Galway next Saturday.

CONNACHT: 15. Darragh Leader; 14. Cian Kelleher, 13. Eoin Griffin, 12. Craig Ronaldson, 11. Matt Healy; 10. Jack Carty, 9. Kieran Marmion; 1. Dan McCabe, 2. Tom McCartney, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Ultan Dillane, 5. Andrew Browne, 6. Eoghan Masterson, 7. Jarrad Butler, 8. John Muldoon (captain).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, JP Cooney, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Eoin McKeon, Conor McKeon, Steve Crosbie, Bundee Aki, Stacey Ili, Rory Scholes.

BRISTOL: 15. Jordan Williams; 14. David Lemi, 13. Will Hurrell, 12. Tusi Pisi, 11. Tom Varndell; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Rhodri Williams; 1. Soane Tonga’uiha, 2. Jason Harris-Wright, 3. Sione Faletau, 4. Joe Batley, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Sam Jeffries (captain), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nick Haining.

Replacements: Max Crumpton, Jack Cosgrove, Tyler Gendall, Joe Latta, Steven Luatua, Jack Lam, Jordan Crane, Reiss Cullen, Billy Searle, Jack Tovey, Sam Bedlow, Luke Morahan, Mat Protheroe.

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