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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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Connacht barely maintain their top six place after Scarlets beat them with a bonus point

The westerners were beaten 32-9 by Scarlets.

Aly Muldowney tries to eke out a few yards.
Aly Muldowney tries to eke out a few yards.
Image: Ashley Crowden/INPHO

IN TERMS OF Champions Cup qualification there will be few games as important for Connacht as their away clash with the Scarlets today and things did not go to plan for Pat Lam’s side as they allowed the hosts claim a bonus point 32-14 win.

That saw the Welsh side draw level on points with Connacht but the province edge them on the tiebreaker of games won.

Connacht started strongly as Kieran Marmion and Danie Poolman combined to bring play into the Scarlets 22. The visitors were then awarded a penalty at the breakdown and out-half Jack Carty kicked the westerners into the lead.

A few minutes later it looked like Connacht had scored the first try of the game after wing Matt Healy burst through a gap on the 10m line and sprinted home but the referee spotted a forward pass in the build-up.

Steven Shingler levelled the match after Connacht were penalised at the ruck and the out-half then made a big break into the opposition 22 that was rewarded with another penalty, which he also converted.

The first try went to the home side after 24 minutes when wing Michael Tagicakibau went over in the corner after a Scarlets 5m scrum.

And they got their second five-pointer three minutes later when their other wing Harry Robinson crossed in the opposite corner.

Five minutes before half time Connacht had a scrum near the Scarlets line but fullback Jordan Williams intercepted the ball and raced the length of the field for his side’s third try.

Carty converted his second penalty of the game right on half time and kicked another at the start of the second 40 but Scarlets soon had the bonus point try after flanker James Davies touched down from the back of a maul.

Niyi Adeolokun grabbed a late consolation try for the visitors but now they face a tough battle to hold onto their top six place.

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