Sunday 4 December 2016

Erratic Connacht made pay by Italians

Aironi 25 Connacht 13


Published 27/03/2011 | 05:00

Connacht's recent good run came to an abrupt halt at Stadio Zaffanella last night when they became the first side to lose to Aironi in the Magners League.

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The victory, their first in 18 attempts, sparked off great celebrations by the Italians as Connacht were put to the sword for a sloppy display.

Connacht, having had to dig deep to win 11-6 in the Sportsground against the same opposition earlier this month, knew they would face a big battle to avoid the ignominy of being the first to lose to the new franchise.

Two mistakes saw Connacht slip 14-3 behind after 22 minutes with Kaine Robertson getting the first after Gavin Duffy's pass was intercepted, while Fionn Carr failed to deal with a chip from Danwel Demas and the South African pounced.

Connacht did not get into the Aironi 22 until the 32nd minute but they made it count with a good ruck off a lineout after a penalty to the left corner and while the Italians defended well, Connacht countered and Ian Keatley put Ray Ofisa in for a try which the out-half converted to leave it 14-10 at the interval.

Aironi came out of the blocks after the restart and pushed 20-10 ahead after 48 minutes with Tito Tebaldi adding a penalty and out-half James Marshall landing a drop goal.

Demas killed off the game with a try after 61 minutes and a late Connacht rally failed to yield a bonus point.

Scorers -- Aironi: Robertson, Krause, Demas try each; Tebaldi 2 cons, pen; Marshall d-g. Connacht: Ofisa try; Keatley 2 pens, con

Aironi -- G Rubini; K Robertson, M Pratichetti, G Pizarro (H San Martin, 77), D Demas; J Marshall, T Tebaldi (P Canavosio, 73); Alberto de Marchi (Andrea de Marcho, 77), R Santamaria (F Ongaro, 56), F Staibano (R Redolfini, 60); J Furno, M Bortolami; J Sole, G Krause (N Cattina, 72), N Williams.

Connacht -- G Duffy; B Tuohy, N Ta'auso (K Matthews, 63), T Nathan, F Carr; I Keatley, F Murphy (C Willis, 73); B Wilkinson (R Loughney, 67), S Cronin, J Hagan (R Ah You, 60); M Swift, M McCarthy; A Browne (B Upton, 60), J O'Connor (J Muldoon, 71), R Ofisa.

Referee -- N Hennesy (WRU).

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