Monday 26 June 2017

Elwood looks forward as O'Connor's late heroics arrest slide

Connacht have had a poor return all season with the boot, but Niall O'Connor delivered the goods in this PRO12 clash at a windy Sportsground on Saturday night.

O'Connor, who had missed two kicks with the wind at his back in the first half, lofted a penalty from 25 metres on the right wing to salvage a draw with the last kick of the match.

"Fair dues to Niall. It was a pressure kick on the wrong side for a right-footed player," said coach Eric Elwood.

Elwood is now hoping that his team will win their first match in 12 in the competition when his former Ireland half-back partner Michael Bradley brings Edinburgh to Galway on Friday.

Connacht were poor in the opening half, and they trailed 7-3 at the break, Glasgow prop Jon Welsh having dived over for a try on 26 minutes after poor defending.

Ruaridh Jackson extended Glasgow's lead after the restart. But, then, after Glasgow winger Tommy Seymour had been yellow-carded, Tiernan O'Halloran finished in the left corner following a cross-field kick from O'Connor.

But straight from the re-start, Glasgow hit the front when Duncan Weir landed a 35-metre penalty and it took a superb John Muldoon tackle to deny Finlay Gillies a try eight minutes from time.

The Scots looked set to hold out, but the home side battled away and were rewarded when a turnover led to a penalty. O'Connor did the rest to halt Connacht's dismal league run.

Connacht -- G Duffy; F Vainikolo, K Tonetti (E Griffin 58), H Fa'afili, T O'Halloran; N O'Connor, P O'Donohoe (D Moore 51); B Wilkinson, A Flavin, R Loughney; M Swift, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, E Grace (D Gannon 72), G Naoupu.

Glasgow Warriors -- P Murchie; T Seymour, T Nathan, G Morrison, D Lemi (C Shaw 66); R Jackson (D Weir 62), H Pyrgos; R Grant, P MacArthur (F Gillies 62), J Welsh; R Verbakel, T Ryder; R Harley, C Fusaro, R Wilson (C Forrester 62).

REF -- P Allan (SRU).

Irish Independent

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