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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 August, 2019

Connacht scrape past Dragons to secure second straight victory

Pat Lam’s side had five points to spare.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Connacht 14

Dragons 9

John Fallon reports from the Sportsground

Connacht just about did enough to get across the line in a poor encounter at the Sportsground.

Both sides were guilty of a string of errors but a good start was enough in the end for Pat Lam’s men to make it two wins in a row.

Connacht needed to lay down a marker and get command of this encounter and they did it in style when Jack Carty and Matt Healy combined to send Tiernan O’Halloran through for a try after just five minutes.

Caolin Blade, drafted in as a late replacement after Kieran Marmion came back sore from Irish training yesterday, nabbed the second when he pounced to run through a sleepy Dragons defence.

Craig Ronaldson converted both for Connacht to lead 14-0 after 14 minutes.

Dragons, beaten 45-17 by Munster in Cork last weekend, struggled to get into the game but replacement out-half Angus O’Brien got them off the mark with a penalty after 18 minutes and that left it 14-3 at the interval.

Two more penalties from O’Brien ensured a nervous finish for Connacht but they did enough to get over the line.

John Cooney thought he had grabbed a clinching try late in the match but was whistled back for a midfield infringement in the build-up.

Connacht scorers
Tries: Tiernan O’Halloran, Caolin BladeConversions: Craig Ronaldson 2 / 2

Dragons scorers

Penalties: Angus O’Brien 3 / 3

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Craig Ronaldson (Rory Parata ’77), Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade (John Cooney ’57); Denis Buckley (Ronan Loughney ’78), Dave Heffernan (Tom McCartney ’57), Finlay Bealham (JP Cooney ’78); Ultan Dillane (Nepia Fox-Matamua ’63), Quinn Roux (James Cannon ’69); Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon.

Dragons: Tom Prydie; Adam Hughes, Tyler Morgan, Adam Warren (Sam Beard ’68), Pat Howard; Dorian Jones (Angus O’Brien ’15), Tavis Knoyle (Sarel Pretorious ’77); Sam Hobbs (Thomas Davies ’60), Elliot Dee, Brok Harris (Llyod Fairbrother ’60); Nick Crosswell, Rynard Landman (Cory Hill ’40); Ollie Griffiths (Harrison Keddie ’77), Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU).

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About the author:

John Fallon

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