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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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Connacht get back to winning ways with comfortable defeat of Cardiff

The Blues sat just one point behind the province in the Conference B table before the game.

Dave Heffernan scores a try despite the best efforts of Rey Lee-Lo.
Dave Heffernan scores a try despite the best efforts of Rey Lee-Lo.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht 29

Cardiff Blues 0

John Fallon reports from the Sportsground

THIS WAS THE  perfect way to bring a five-match losing run by Connacht to an end as Andy Friend’s men blew Conference B rivals Cardiff Blues away at the Sportsground to score a bonus point victory.

The win gives real momentum to their Guinness Pro14 knock-out stage hopes and Heineken Champions Cup qualification while, at the same time, putting a dent in the hopes of a Cardiff side who were just a point adrift of them going into the game.

This venue has been home to some horrific weather over the decades but a wind which fluctuated in strength on a fairly dry night produced conditions more favourable than expected.

But it was clear from the outset that this was going to develop into a arm wrestle in front of a crowd of 4,512.

Jack Carty gave Connacht quality field positions with some superb kicking which penned the Welsh deep inside their own half for long periods.

Carty gave Connacht an early boost with a penalty after six minutes after Cardiff centre Rey Lee-lo was pinged for going off his feet, but the visitors defended well after that despite a lineout that lost seven of their own throws in the opening half.

The fifth of those gifted Connacht the opening try after 27 minutes when an overthrow was pounced on by Dave Heffernan and the hooker burst through from the 22 to score.

The score may have been fortuitous but it was no more than they deserved for their dominance and it was no surprise when they increased their lead six minutes from the interval when a grubber from Carty sent centre Peter Robb over in the right corner to lead 15-0 at the break.

Replacement prop Denis Buckley put Connacht firmly on the road to victory 10 minutes after the restart with a superb break which sucked in the cover before putting winger John Porch through for his fifth try of his maiden season at the Sportsground, with Carty’s conversion making it 22-0.

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Cardiff didn’t get into the Connacht 22 until the 57th minute and then turned over the ball with Robb pouncing for the turnover and sending his centre partner Kyle Godwin away for an 80-metre run to score, with Carty’s superb conversion making it 29-0 as Friend’s cantered home as the weather deteriorated in the closing stages.

Scorers:

Connacht

Tries: Dave Heffernan, Peter Robb, John Porch, Kyle Godwin

Conversions: Jack Carty [3/4]

Penalties: Jack Carty [1/1]

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; John Porch, Kyle Godwin, Peter Robb (Tom Daly ’59), Matt Healy; Jack Carty (Conor Fitzgerald ’65), Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade ’57); Paddy McAllister (Denis Buckley ’49), Dave Heffernan (Shane Delahunt ’62), Finlay Bealham (Dominic Robertson-McCoy ’57); Ultan Dillane, Gavin Thornbury (Joe Maksymiw ’35); Paul Boyle (Eoin McKeon ’65), Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (McAllister ’68-76).

CARDIFF BLUES: Dan Fish (Ryan Edwards ’60); Jason Harries, Rey Lee-Lo (Ben Thomas ’31-40 HIA), Garyn Smith (Thomas ’65), Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams (Lewis Jones ’60); Rhys Gill (Corey Domachowski ’50), Liam Belcher (Kristian Dacey ’48), Dmitri Arhip (Scott Andrews ’40); Filo Paulo (Seb Davies ’40), James Ratti; Josh Turnbull, Olly Robinson (Boyde ’49 HIA), Will Boyde (Nick Williams ’48).

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa).

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About the author:

John Fallon

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