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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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Connacht up and running as late Carr try slays visiting Dragons

The westerners began as they mean to go on in the Pro12.

Sarel Pretorius clears under pressure from Kieran Marmion of Connacht.
Sarel Pretorius clears under pressure from Kieran Marmion of Connacht.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht 29

Dragons 23

REPLACEMENT FIONN CARR scored a late try to seal a satisfying Guinness Pro 12 win for Connacht at the Sportsground.

A flash of class from Bundee Aki enabled Carr to scamper clear as Connacht eventually shrugged off Dragons’ spirited resistance in front of 3,624 spectators.

Two splendid Jack Carty penalties in the opening nine minutes ensured Connacht’s bright start was rewarded as Pat Lam’s team edged ahead early on. Carl Meyer missed a penalty for Dragons before the efficient Carty landed his third for Connacht in the 22nd minute.

Connacht’s pack were dominant initially and the home side crashed over for a 25th minute try courtesy of flanker Nepia Fox-Matamua.

Dragons responded trimming the gap with a 28th minute penalty from Jason Tovey, but Connacht departed at the interval armed with a 14-3 advantage.

Within 90 seconds of the restart Dragons’ busy scrum half Sarel Pretorious touched down for an opportunistic try which was converted by Tovey. But Danie Poolman was crafty enough to score a delightful try in the corner following smart work from the impressive Tiernan O’Halloran.

Dragons improved significantly in the second period and another Tovey penalty had the visitors only trailing 19-13 by the 57th minute.

Then Connacht summoned a burst of pressure which culminated with Carty clipping a 69th minute penalty. The home supporters endured some anxious moments as Dragons replacement James Thomas had a 75th minute try converted by Tovey.

Aki make a dashing break which manufactured space for Carr to score before a last gasp Tom Prydie penalty earned the visitors’ a losing bonus point.

Scorers for Connacht:

Jack Carty 4 penalties, 1 conversion
Nepia-Fox-Matamua try
Danie Poolman try
Fionn Carr try

Scorers for Dragons:

Jason Tovey 2 penalties, 2 conversions
Sarel Pretorious try
James Thomas try
Tom Prydie penalty

Connacht

15 Tiernan O’Halloran

14 Danie Poolman

13 Rory Parata
12 Bundee Aki
11 Matt Healy
10 Jack Carty
9 Kieran Marmion
1 Denis Buckley
2 Tom McCartney
3 Rodney Ah You
4 Quinn Roux
5 Andrew Browne
6 John Muldoon
7 Nepia Fox-Matamua
8 Eoghan Masterson

Replacements:

12 John Cooney for Marmion (16 mins)
19 Ben Marshall for Roux (55 mins)
23 Fionn Carr for Healy (57 mins)
20 Eoin McKeon for Masterson (62 mins)
17 JP Cooney for Buckley (63 mins)
18 Finlay Bealham for Ah You (73 mins)
22 Craig Ronaldson for O’Halloran (76 mins)

Dragons:

15 Carl Meyer

14 Tom Prydie
13 Ross Wardle
12 Adam Warren
11 Nick Scott
10 Jason Tovey
9 Sarel Pretorius
1 Boris Stankovich
2 Rhys Thomas
3 Shaun Knight
4 Cory Hill
5 Rynard Landman
6 Nick Crosswell
7 Nic Cudd
8 Ed Jackson

Replacements:

18 Juan Harris for Knight (55 mins)
17 Phil Price for Stankovich (57 mins)
23 Morgan Tyler for Meyer (62 mins)
16 Hugh Gustafson for Thomas (62 mins)
19 James Thomas for Crosswell (63 mins)
21 Charlie Davies for Pretorious (65 mins)
20 James Benjamin for Cudd (69 mins)
22 Dorian Jones for Tovey (79 mins)

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR).

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