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Dublin: 11°C Monday 10 May 2021

Heartbreak for Connacht as late penalty sees them slide to another defeat

Pat Lam’s side have now lost four Pro12 games on the trot.

Steffan Evans touches down for Scarlets.
Steffan Evans touches down for Scarlets.
Image: Craig Thomas/INPHO

Scarlets 21

Connacht 19

THERE WAS HEARTBREAK for Pat Lam and his men as Scarlets struck for a late winner to extend Connacht’s losing run to four games in the Pro12.

Their Parc y Scarlets hoodoo also continues; they have now lost on all of their eight visits to the ground.

Jack Carty looked like he would be the hero for Connacht when he edged them in front with a penalty three minutes from time.

But prop Ronan Loughney was pinged soon afterwards and Steve Shingler stepped forward to end Scarlets’ own four-match losing run in the league and Champions Cup.

Connacht led 10-3 at half time after Matt Healy crossed for a superb try in the 26th minute when he ran from his own 22 to touch down.

Eoghan Masterson and Healy had tries ruled out by TMO Paul Adams in the first half and Connacht were left to rue those missed chances as Scarlets burst out of the blocks in the second half.

Steffan Evans crossed for a try in the 46th minute as Craig Ronaldson’s clearance kick was charged down by Michael Collins and Scarlets gathered.

The ball eventually found its way to Evans who dived over in the corner. Thomas converted to make it 13-10 after 47 minutes.

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Ronaldson replied with a penalty to make it 13 points apiece with 30 minutes remaining.

But Scarlets took the lead again in the 61st minute as full-back Collins crossed for a try. King found a gap in the Connacht defence and released Collins, who touched down.

Thomas failed to convert which meant Scarlets led 18-13 in the final quarter but Carty kept Connacht in touch with a penalty in the 69th minute to set up a tight finish.

And the Athlone man’s 78th minute penalty looked to have won it and given them their first win at Parc y Scarlets before replacement Shingler broke Connacht hearts.

Scarlets: Michael Collins; Steffan Evans, Regan King (Steffan Hughes ’68), Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe; Aled Thomas (Steve Shingler ’73), Aled Davies (Rhodri Williams ’53); Rob Evans, Ken Owens (capt), Samson Lee (Rhodri Jones ’76); Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins (Maselino Paulino ’73); Aaron Shingler, John Barclay, Morgan Allen.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson (Rory Parata ’64), Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (Ian Porter ’76); Finlay Bealham (Ronan Loughney ’68), Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan ’68), Nathan White (Rodney Ah You ’68); Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne (Aly Muldowney ’10); John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan (Sean O’Brien ’68), Eoghan Masterson.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)

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About the author:

Bill Kiely

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