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Connacht suffer disappointing home defeat as Weir strikes late for Edinburgh

It’s now back-to-back defeats for Kieran Keane’s side in the Pro14.

Tom Farrell in action at the Sportsground this evening.
Tom Farrell in action at the Sportsground this evening.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht 22

Edinburgh 29

CONNACHT WERE THE latest Irish province to suffer at the hands of Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro14 as replacement Duncan Weir scored 13 points to secure victory at the Sportsground.

Gloucester come to Galway in the Challenge Cup quarter-final next weekend, and Kieran Keane’s Connacht failed to gain momentum at home .

Tiernan O’Halloran and Tom Farrell scored first-half tries as the hosts took a 17-13 lead into the interval, before Finlay Bealham looked to have rescued the game for Connacht in the second period only for Weir to hit back with a vital try.

After a disappointing last-minute 26-25 defeat at Cheetahs in the previous round, Connacht made a shocking start and fell behind after the first phase of play.

O’Halloran attempted his clearance from the drop-off but it was blocked down by John Hardie, and some indecision between Caolin Blade and Matt Healy resulted in Dougie Fife’s finish.

Jaco van der Walt missed the conversion but he slotted a penalty in the eighth minute before Connacht finally began to click into gear.

O’Halloran scored his try in the 12th minute when Blade fed Eoin McKeon and his reverse ball sent the Connacht full-back through a gap.

Jack Carty scored the conversion and he also added the extras after Farrell’s try in the 17th minute. The out-half was instrumental in the build-up as he evaded the defence to give the crucial pass.

Connacht looked very dangerous in attack but there were holes in their defence, and they were exploited on their right flank five minutes later.

Tiernan O’Halloran breaks free to score his sides opening try Source: James Crombie/INPHO

South African Duhan van der Merwe sprinted clear to score, past the despairing lunge of Niyi Adeolokun.

But Carty kept his 100 per cent record for the first-half when he scored a penalty to give Connacht a 17-13 interval lead.

Edinburgh were right back in it when Weir kicked a penalty but that was cancelled out by Connacht’s third try from Bealham in the 66th minute.

But Weir had the last laugh as he scored with six minutes remaining to snatch victory for Richard Cockerill’s side.

Connacht scorers:

Tries: Tiernan O’Halloran, Tom Farrell, Finlay Bealham
Penalties: Jack Carty [1 from 2]
Conversions: Jack Carty [2 from 2], Craig Ronaldson [0 from 1]

Edinburgh scorers:

Tries: Dougie Fife, Duhan van der Merwe, Duncan Weir
Penalties: Jaco van der Walt [1 from 1], Duncan Weir [2 from 2]
Conversions: Jaco van der Walt [0 from 2], Duncan Weir [1 from 1]

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin (Darragh Leader ’69), Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty (Craig Ronaldson ’62), Caolin Blade (James Mitchell ’62); Denis Buckley (Denis Coulson ’71), Tom McCartney (Capt) (Dave Heffernan ’71), Finlay Bealham (Dominic Robertson McCoy ’71); Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux (James Cannon ’78); Eoin McKeon (Eoghan Masterson ’71), Jarrad Butler, Sean O’Brien.

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn; Dougie Fife, Mark Bennett, Chris Dean (Phil Burleigh ’30), Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt (Duncan Weir ’60), Nathan Fowles; Darryl Marfo (Jordan Lay ’40), Neil Cochrane, Simon Berghan (WP Nel ’49); Ben Toolis (Lewis Carmichael ’57), Grant Gilchrist; Magnus Bradbury, John Hardie, Bill Mata (Cornell du Preez ’62).

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU).

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About the author:

Daragh Small

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