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Connacht go top of Pro12 table after bonus-point victory over Dragons

An excellent second half display earned Pat Lam’s man the win tonight.

Eoghan Masterson goes over for Connacht's third try.
Eoghan Masterson goes over for Connacht's third try.
Image: Craig Thomas/INPHO

Dragons 21

Connacht 26

CONNACHT MOVED TO the top of the Pro12 leaderboard tonight thanks to second half comeback against Dragons at Rodney Parade.

After defeating Scarlets at the Sportground earlier this month, the high-flying province made it back-to-back wins in the competition with Matt Healy, Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoghan Masterson and Bundee Aki all scoring tries.

Pat Lam made three changes to his team as AJ MacGinty, Craig Ronaldson and Rodney Ah You came in while Kieran Marmion was named on the bench after being released by Ireland for the game.

Jason Tovey kicked over an early penalty for the home side before Healy went over on 13 minutes for Connacht.

Dragons responded through the hard work of Adam Hughes, which was rewarded with a try but Rhys Jones missed the conversion.

AJ MacGinty clears the ballAJ MacGinty clears the ball.Source: Craig Thomas/INPHO

The teams exchanged tries once again before half-time through O'Halloran and Ashton Hewitt and Dragons led 15-14 at the break.

Two Angus O'Brien penalties handed them a seven-point cushion on 56 minutes but Pat Lam's side were not done yet. Masterson and Aki both went over while Ronaldson kicked a third successful conversion from four to turn the game on its head.

Connacht open up a four-point lead over Ulster ahead of their meeting with Glasgow Warriors tomorrow night.

Scorers

Dragons

Tries: A Hughes, A Hewitt

Conversions: R Jones (0/1), A O'Brien (1/1)

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Penalties: J Tovey (1/1), A O'Brien (1/1)

Connacht

Tries: M Healy, T O'Halloran, E Masterson, B Aki

Conversions: C Ronaldson (3/4)

Dragons

15. Rhys Jones
14. Ashton Hewitt
13. Adam Hughes
12. Adam Warren
11. Nick Scott
10. Jason Tovey
9. Sarel Pretorius

1. Phil Price
2. Elliott Dee
3. Brok Harris
4. Matthew Screech
5. Rynard Landman
6. Ben White
7. Nic Cudd
8. Nick Crosswell

Replacements
17. Luke Garrett
18. Shaun Knight
19. Cory Hill
20. James Benjamin
21. Charlie Davis
22. Angus O'Brien

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. AJ MacGinty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. George Naoupu
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon
7. Jake Heenan
8. Eoghan Masterson

Replacements
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Eoin McKeon
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Peter Robb

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