Connacht edge out Scarlets
Connacht 17 Scarlets 13
Published 13/02/2011 | 05:00
Ian Keatley kicked four penalties as Connacht nabbed their first Magners League win since September with a display that deserved a bigger margin of victory in the wind and rain at the Sportsground last night.
It was a first win in 10 Magners League games for Eric Elwood's men and with five of their remaining nine games at home, they will aim for a strong finish to the season.
The only try of the half came after 13 minutes as scrum-half Frank Murphy took a ball off a scrum on the 22, looped with his out-half Keatley, and made it to the right corner for his first Connacht try. Keatley missed the conversion.
The Scarlets hit back and with Jonathan Davies superb in the centre, they kept the ball in tight and made the hard yards, getting a reward with a penalty from Dan Newton after 19 minutes.
Connacht finished strongly with Keatley extending their lead just before the break with a penalty from 30 metres to go in 8-3 ahead.
Gareth Maule got in for a Scarlets try within a minute of the restart despite suspicion of a forward pass from Regan King, but while Newton edged them in front with the conversion, Connacht took over.
Keatley restored the lead with his second penalty after 46 minutes and he landed two more either side of an effort from Newton to seal a deserved victory.
Scorers -- Connacht: Murphy try; Keatley 4 pens. Scarlets: Maule try; Newton con, 2 pens.
Connacht: G Duffy; B Tuohy, N Ta'auso, T Nathan, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, A Flavin, J Hagan (R Ah You 40); M Swift, M McCarthy; A Browne, J O'Connor, M McComish (R Ofisa 40).
Scarlets: D Evans; D Daniel (N Reynolds 79), R King, J Davies, G Maule; D Newton, M Roberts (G Davies 66); I Thomas, E Phillips (R Lawrence 66), R Thomas (S Gardiner 59); V Cooper (J Fa'amatuainu 66), L Reed; R McCusker, J Edwards (N Cudd 59), B Morgan.
Referee: A McMenemy (SRFU).
Sunday Indo Sport