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Connacht used the rolling maul to really, really good effect against Dragons

Anything Ireland can do, Pat Lam’s lads can do better.

ROBBIE HENSHAW WAS nine-years-old the last time Connacht strung together four successive wins. On Sunday, Henshaw started at fullback as Connacht matched their best ever league run to climb to seventh in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Forward power won out for Pat Lam’s charges at Rodney Parade in a 24-8 bonus point victory. The first sign, for the hosts, that it would be a long afternoon at the office arrived on 12 minutes when Connacht won a scrum against the head and captain John Muldoon pounced on a loose ball.

The visiting forwards were in the ascendancy and set-piece play dominated. Connacht’s three other tries came as a result of line-out claims and rolling mauls. It is a tactic the westerners have successfully applied since the start of the season and won that regularly worked for Ireland in the Six Nations. The most impressive of the mauls came on 62 minutes as Connacht changed the angle of attack three times while masking Muldoon at the rear the whole time.

Source: RaboDirect PRO12/YouTube

Connacht’s previous streak, in 2002/03, included a win over [now defunct] Borders and an away triumph over Leinster at Donnybrook. The four wins had Steph Nel’s men top of the Celtic League before a narrow loss away to Pontypridd. Seems like a lifetime ago.

Next up for Connacht is an away date with sixth place Scarlets at Parc Y Scarlets. Another bonus point win could see them leapfrog the Welshmen into the Heineken Cup qualification places.

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Patrick McCarry

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