Wednesday 26 July 2017

Carr hits new Connacht high

Connacht 27, Edinburgh 23

Connacht made it a magnificent seven home wins on the spin as the departing Fionn Carr set two new try- scoring records at the Sportsground.

The flying winger scored the fastest try of the season in the Magners League when he crossed after just 32 seconds of a cracking contest.

And in the process he created a new Connacht try-scoring record, with his touchdown taking him one past current video analyst Conor McPhillips, who scored 32 in his career.

And Carr would have scored a hat-trick by half-time, but when he was taken out by a cynical tackle from Nick de Luca after 37 minutes, which earned Connacht a penalty try.

But Carr was unperturbed and he got his 34th try of his Connacht career on the stroke of half-time after a superb move down the right involving Ray Ofisa and Gavin Duffy.

Those tries should have been enough to have taken Connacht out of sight, but they conceded a couple of soft tries and were just 20-17 ahead at the break. Gavin Duffy secured the bonus point on the hour-mark after a grubber-kick from Ian Keatley and it was Duffy who then set up Carr for his record-breaking score.

Scott Newlands broke through some soft tackling to get Edinburgh back in the match with Greig Laidlaw adding the conversion to an earlier penalty for a 10-5 lead after 24 minutes. Keatley responded with a penalty, but Connacht found themselves 17-8 behind after half an hour when James King cut through the middle.

But Connacht finished the half strongly, with a superb move leading to a penalty try as Keatley looped with Troy Nathan to put Duffy away and, as he drew the cover, the Mayoman fed inside to Carr who just needed to gather and dive, but he was taken out by de Luca.

Connacht used the extra man to maximum effect with Ofisa and Duffy again combining to send Carr over before the break. Two more penalties from Laidlaw kept Edinburgh in contention, but Connacht deservedly held out.

Connacht -- G Duffy; B Tuohy, T Nathan, K Matthews, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy; R Loughney (B Wilkinson 68), S Cronin (A Flavin 75), J Hagan (R Ah You, ; M McCarthy, B Upton; A Browne, J O'Connor, R Ofisa (M McComish 61).

Edinburgh -- J Thompson; S Webster, N de Luca, J King, T Visser; G Laidlaw, M Blair; K Traynor (L Niven 64), A Kelly, G Cross; S MacLeod, E Lozada (S Turnbull 65); F McKenzie (R Grant 54), S Newlands, D Denton.

ReF -- C Damsaco (Italy).

* THERE was sad news for Irish lock Conor McInerney yesterday, with the Ospreys confirming the 24-year-old is to retire from rugby with immediate effect. The former Ireland U-20 second-row's knee problem has deteriorated to a point where he is unable to continue playing.

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