Tuesday 28 March 2017

Carr try puts Westerners in driving seat

Glasgow 17
Connacht 19

Connacht achieved their second Magners League win of the season -- and their first away win for 18 months -- in a hard-fought clash at Firhill last night.

At the end of a gripping, if not high quality encounter, all that separated the teams was a conversion goal.

Both sides scored one try each, and both sides landed four penalty goals, but Fionn Carr's try under the posts meant that out-half Ian Keatley had an easy kick at goal for the extra points.

Glasgow's dynamic start to the game brought an instant result in the form of a penalty goal by out-half Ruaridh Jackson but two minutes later, and from similar range, Ian Keatley had the chance to reply in kind, only for the ball to drift wide of the posts.

The home side were looking dangerous inside the Connacht 22 and when the ball was spun out to Graeme Morrison, the centre was able to shrug off two tacklers before touching down in the corner for an unconverted try.

Connacht threatened from the restart with a mazy run by Carr but the move fizzled out after Troy Nathan failed to take a difficult pass, but when Glasgow were ruled offside during a subsequent attack from the visitors, Keatley made no mistake with his second strike to give Connacht their first points of the match.

A second Keatley penalty reduced Glasgow's lead to just two points but a further attempt at goal on the half-hour mark missed the target.

Connacht, however, quickly atoned when the ball was moved to Carr for the hat-trick hero of last weekend to dance through the Glasgow defence, before racing in for a try under the posts that left Keatley with an easy conversion, and his side with a 13-8 half-time advantage.

The gap increased one minute into the second half with a third penalty goal from Keatley, but in the seven minutes that followed Jackson fired over two long- range kicks to bring his side back into the match.

Glasgow, now reignited, began to exert massive pressure on the Connacht defence and were rewarded with a penalty goal from Jackson to give the home side a one-point lead.

It remained that way until the 75th minute when Glasgow were penalised for pulling down a maul, and from just outside the 22-metre line Keatley restored the visitors' lead with his fourth penalty goal.

Glasgow had a late chance to win the match with a drop-goal attempt from replacement out-half Duncan Weir, but the teenager, who scored the winning points against Leinster two weeks ago, was this time off-target leaving Connacht worthy winners.

Glasgow Warriors -- B Stortoni; DTH Van Der Merwe, M Evans, G Morrison, H O'Hare; R Jackson (D Weir 65), C Gregor ; J Welsh (K Tkachuk 40), F Thomson, E Kalman (M Low 40), T Ryder (A Maldowney 58), R Gray, R Harley, J Barclay (C Forrester 67), R Vernon.

Connacht -- G Duffy; T Nathan, N Ta'auso, K Matthews, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy (C Willis 71); B Wilkinson (R Loughney 71), S Cronin (A Flavin 59), J Hagan (R Sweeney 71), M Swift, B Upton (A Browne 66), M McCarthy, R Ofisa, M McComish.

Ref -- L Hodges (WRU).

Irish Independent

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