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Connacht produce stunning five-try display to pick up bonus point and end bad away form

The Irish province came away from their trip to Edinburgh with an impressive win.

Caolin Blade scores a try for Connacht.
Caolin Blade scores a try for Connacht.
Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

Edinburgh 26

Connacht 37

Lewis Stuart reports from Murrayfield 

CONNACHT PUT THEIR woeful away form behind them as they travelled to Edinburgh and came away with a five-try win thanks to a blistering start with Caolin Blade, the scrum half, at the heart of their best moments in a game of non-stop action.

They could never have dreamed of the start they gave themselves thanks to some brilliant quick thinking from key players. Trailing to an early score from Nick Groom, the home captain, Blade reacted quickly to a ball dropping loose, sped down the blind side, kicked ahead and won the race for the opening try.

Conor Fitzgerald, the fly half, did the next bout of damage. He had kicked an earlier penalty and when he spotted the home defence coming up flat a clever kick behind gave Sammy Arnold, playing on the wing, plenty of time to claim the second.

At this stage, Connacht were doing everything much quicker than the Scots and reaped a third reward when they stole a loose line out at half way and quick hands gave John Porch, the full back, space on the outside to round the defence and put Alex Wooton, the wing, in for the third try. Tom Daly, who had taken over the kicking duties after Fitzgerald went off injured added a penalty to open out a 16 point lead.

Edinburgh did claw one back before the break when Mike Willemse went over from a maul and when he repeated the act early in the second half it Edinburgh had a sniff of a comeback until Blade shut it out again. Again it was a case of quick thinking as he spotted a gap behind the home forwards and another perfectly judged kick gave Wooton the space for his second and his side’s bonus point.

Shane Delahunt, the hooker, added a fifth to open out an 18 point lead and that was that as far as the Irish side were concerned.

Edinburgh had not given up and did claim a bonus point try of their own when Andrew Davidson, the lock, charged over from short range but it was far too little against the fired-up men in green.

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Scorers:

Edinburgh:
Try: Groom (9’) Willemse (40+3, 50), Davidson (72)
Conversion: van der Walt [3 from 4]

Connacht:
Try: Blade (14’), Arnold (19), Wooton (28, 55), Delahunt (61)
Conversions: Fitzgerald [0 from 2]. Daly [3 from 3]
Penalties: Fitzgerald [1 from 1], Daly [1 from 1]

EDINBURGH: Jack Blain; Eroni Sau, James Johnstone, Chris Dean (George Taylor, 64), Jamie Farndale; Jaco van der Walt, Nic Groom (Henry Pyrgos, 63); Pierre Schoeman (Jamie Bhatti, 72), Mike Willemse (David Cherry, 63), WP Nel (Murray McCallum, 63), Lewis Carmichael (Jamie Hodgson, 71), Andrew Davidson, Magnus Bradbury, Ali Miller (Connor Boyle, 65), Mesulame Kunavula.

CONNACHT: John Porch; Sammy Arnold (Tiernan O’Halloran, 20), Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Alex Wootton; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (Colm Reilly, 71); Denis Buckley (Paddy McAllister, 52), Shane Delahunt (Jonny Murphy, 68), Jack Aungier (Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 52), Eoghan Masterson (Cian Prendergast, 72), Gavin Thornbury, Paul Boyle, Jarrad Butler (C), Abraham Papali’i (Conor Oliver, 52)

Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)

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About the author:

Lewis Stuart

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