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Another great night for Connacht as they claim bonus point win away to Edinburgh

Eoin McKeon’s 72nd minute try was the crucial score.

Bundee Aki was amongst the try scorers for Connacht tonight.
Bundee Aki was amongst the try scorers for Connacht tonight.
Image: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

Connacht 28
Edinburgh 23

THE GOOD TIMES keep rolling for Connacht rugby as they stay top of the Guinness Pro12 after a gutsy bonus point win in Murrayfield tonight against Edinburgh.

Pat Lam’s men enjoyed a brilliant start to the game as they went ahead 14-0 at the interval but endured anxiety in the second-half as Edinburgh roared back into contention.

At one stage Edinburgh had cut the deficit to a single point, 21-20, but Eoin McKeon proved the Connacht hero as he bagged the crucial try in the 72nd minute that took them clear.

It had looked like it would be a straightforward evening’s work for Connacht in the opening period with AJ MacGinty and Jake Heenan  responsible for the tries – allied to a pair of conversions from Craig Ronaldson – helping them to a 14-0 interval lead.

MacGinty scored in the 20th minute while Heenan touched down in the 32nd minute for Lam’s team.

AJ MacGinty scores try despite Cornell Du Preez AJ MacGinty scores a try for Connacht Source: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

Edinburgh enjoyed a great start to the second-half courtesy of a try from Chris Dean in the 43rd minute but they missed the conversion.

And they were made to pay moments when Bundee Aki’s try and a Ronaldson conversion sent Connacht surging clear, 21-5.

Then matters became fraught for the westerners as Edinburgh’s best spell of the game occurred.

Kieran Marmion Kieran Marmion in action for Connacht tonight. Source: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

Firstly Damien Hoyland registered a try in the 51st minute which Sam Hidalgo-Clyne converted and then Cornell du Preez scored Edinburgh’s third try in the 59th minute.

Hidalgo-Clyne may have missed that conversion attempt but he nailed a penalty in the 68th minute that left Connacht clinging to a 21-20 advantage as Edinburgh placed them under huge pressure.

But Connacht steadied themselves brilliantly and McKeon’s crucial try was converted by MacGinty.

Aly Muldowney tackled by Phil Burleigh Connacht's Aly Muldowney tackled by Phil Burleigh of Edinburgh Source: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

A late Hidalgo-Clyne penalty was all Edinburgh could muster in response as Connacht ran out five-point winners.

Connacht scorers:
Tries: AJ MacGinty, Jake Heenan, Bundee Aki, Eoin McKeon.
Conversions: Craig Ronaldosn (3), AJ MacGinty (1)
Edinburgh scorers:
Tries: Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, Cornell Du Preez
Conversions: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (1)
Penalties: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (2)

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson (Peter Robb 72)
11. Matt Healy
10. AJ MacGinty
9. Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade 61)

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan 74)
3. Nathan White (Rodney Ah You 41 – Finlay Bealham 67)
4. Quinn Roux (Daniel Qualter 60)
5. Aly Muldowney
6. Sean O’Brien (Eoin McKeon 68)
7. Jake Heenan
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Edinburgh

15. Kinghom
14. Hoyland
13. Dean
12. Scott
11. Brown
10. Burleigh
9. Hidalgo-Clyne

1. Sutherland
2. Cochrane
3. Andress
4. Bresler
5. Toolis
6. Ritchie
7. Watson
8. Du Preez

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