Sport Guinness Pro12

Friday 24 February 2017

Sloppy Connacht lose more ground

Dragons 21 Connacht 16

Elgan Alderman

Connacht's Jack Carty is tackled by Dragons' Brok Harris. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile
Connacht's Jack Carty is tackled by Dragons' Brok Harris. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile

Connacht's defence of their Pro12 title hit another speed bump as they went down at the struggling Newport Gwent Dragons.

Niyi Adeolokun's late score was not enough for the visitors after wing Ashton Hewitt's brace of tries and the boot of Angus O'Brien put the Dragons on course for only their second win of the season.

Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Dragons' Sam Beard. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile
Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Dragons' Sam Beard. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile

The result lifts the Dragons above Connacht in the table, with both sides on just 11 points after eight rounds.

Connacht went behind when they lost a lineout and Hewitt accelerated past Tiernan O'Halloran. O'Brien added the conversion and a penalty.

Jack Carty kicked two penalties either side of an O'Brien drop-goal to make it 13-6 at the break.

Dragons stretched their lead as Hewitt raced on to Sam Beard's kick. O'Brien hit his second drop-goal, before Carty cut the gap.

Connacht's Jake Heenan is tackled by Angus O'Brien. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile
Connacht's Jake Heenan is tackled by Angus O'Brien. Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile

Connacht finished strongly. An arcing run from Stacey Ili drew two defenders, and he managed to off-load to Adeolokun, who came on the angle for a tremendous try. Carty converted to cut the gap to five points, but Pat Lam's men failed to get downfield for the decisive score.

Dragons - T Prydie; P Howard, S Beard (A Warren 63), J Dixon, A Hewitt; A O'Brien (GR Jones 70), S Pretorius (T Knoyle 67); P Price (S Hobbs 53), TR Thomas, B Harris (L Fairbrother 63), N Crosswell, R Landman (M Screech 63), L Evans (capt, N Cudd 50), O Griffiths, E Jackson.
Connacht - T O'Halloran; N Adeolokun, B Aki, P Robb (C Kelleher 59), S Ili; J Carty (S O'Leary 79), C Blade; JP Cooney (D Robertson-McCoy 63), S Delahunt (D Heffernan 52), C Carey, Q Roux, A Browne (J Cannon 5), E McKeon, J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt).
Ref - G Clancy (Ireland)

Irish Independent

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