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Huge boost for Connacht ahead of Wasps clash as they ease past Treviso

The Westerners were too strong for the Italian side, as they won 47-8.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Connacht 47

Benetton Treviso 8

By John Fallon at the Sportsground

CONNACHT ROMPED HOME to a facile victory to give their defence of their Pro12 title a boost when they proved far too strong for Treviso at the Sportsground.

The win will send Connacht into their Champions Cup encounters with Wasps in fine fettle as they chalked up their second victory in a row.

The Italians were way out of their depth and stay rooted to the bottom of the table with just one win in eleven league games this season.

Early Treviso pressure yielded a penalty in front of the posts for Ian McKinley but the Connacht response was good and they hit the front after 14 minutes when hooker Tom McCartney bulldozed over after they had gone to the corner with a kickable penalty.

Scrum-half John Cooney was again handed the kicking duties from the outset despite new signing Marnitz Boshoff making his first start for Pat Lam’s men.

Connacht lost winger Cian Kelleher for ten minutes when he slipped and took out McKinley in the air but Treviso never looked like scoring with the extra man.

Indeed, it was Connacht who extended their lead before Kelleher returned with Danie Poolman, a late replacement for Matt Healy, getting in for a try.

And when Treviso lost tighthead prop Simone Ferrari to a yellow card after 29 minutes, Connacht hit them for a brace of tries from McCartney and loosehead prop Denis Buckley, with Cooney maintaining his accuracy off the tee to lead 28-3 at the break.

Bundee Aki and Stacey Ili with Michael Tagicakibau Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The tempo of the game dropped after the restart but Cooney crowned a fine display by getting a try for the second week in a row, while Dave Heffernan crossed for Connacht’s sixth after 55 minutes.

Abraham Steyn pulled back a try for Treviso after their pack got a good nudge in the scrum, but it was a brief reprieve for the Italians as Jack Carty came off the bench for Boshoff and dummied well to touch down and then convert his own try.

Connacht scorers:Tries: Tom McCartney (2), Danie Poolman, Denis Buckley, John Cooney, Dave Heffernan, Jack CartyConversions: John Cooney (4), Marnitz Boshoff, Jack Carty

Treviso scorers:

Try: Abraham Steyn

Penalty: Ian McKinley

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran (Jack Carty ’69); Cian Kelleher, Stacey Ili, Bundee Aki (Rory Parata ’60), Danie Poolman; Marnitz Boshoff, John Cooney (Caolin Blade ’50); Denis Buckley (JP Cooney ’60), Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan ’54), Conor Carey (Dominic Robertson-McCoy ’60); Quinn Roux, James Cannon; Nepia Fox-Matamua, Jake Heenan (Sean O’Brien ’59), John Muldoon (Eoin McKeon ’62).

TREVISO: David Odiete; Angelo Esposito (Andrea Pratichetti ’39), Michael Tagicakibau (Tommaso Allan ’62), Alberto Sgarbi, Luca Sperandio; Ian McKinley, Tito Tebaldi (Edoardo Gori ’54); Alberto De Marchi (Federico Zani ’46) (Nicola Quaglio ’69), Davide Giazzon (Luca Bigi ’54), Simone Ferrari (Matteo Zanusso ’71); Marco Lazzaroni, Marco Fuser; Abraham Steyn, Roberto Santamaria (Matteo Zanusso ’30-40), Marco Barbini (Vittorio Flammini ’56).

Referee: Ian Davies [WRU].

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About the author:

John Fallon

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