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Consolation for Connacht in Scarlets loss

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Connacht's Fionn Carr. Photo: Ian Cook/ Sportsfile

Connacht's Fionn Carr. Photo: Ian Cook/ Sportsfile

Connacht's Fionn Carr. Photo: Ian Cook/ Sportsfile

CONNACHT left Parc y Scarlets with two losing bonus points yesterday after a comeback late in the second half fell short in a dramatic Pro12 contest.

Replacement centre Gareth Maule claimed the bonus-point try a minute from time, squeezing under the posts to make the final score 32-30 after Scarlets saw a 25-11 lead shrink to 25-23 in the space of two minutes following tries by wing Fionn Carr and full-back Robbie Henshaw.

And after Maule's score, Connacht managed to have the final say with a fourth try for Ewen McKeon to secure the second bonus point. Scarlets welcomed back Rhys Priestland and also included their other Wales stars Davies, Liam Williams, Ken Owens, Rhodri Jones and Jake Ball. They cruised into a 7-0 lead inside two minutes through Wales centre Jonathan Davies.

If the home fans thought it was going to be a try-fest in the warm spring sunshine they had to rethink as Connacht replied with two penalties on six and 21 minutes. But Scarlets gave themselves breathing space three minutes later when Priestland struck a 40-metre penalty.

Priestland struck the post with a second penalty eight minutes from half-time as Scarlets took a 13-6 lead in to the break. After scoring the opening try Jonathan Davies was involved in the second as scrum-half Gareth Davies went over under the posts for his ninth try of the campaign.

Priestland converted to take his side in to a 20-6 advantage.

Incredible

Scarlets followed that with an incredible try started with Liam Williams in his own 22. Priestland and Kristian Phillips continued the counter attack finished by Josh Turnbull.

Scrum-half Kieran Marmion grabbed a try back for Connacht from a quick tapped penalty as the Irish side reduced the deficit to 25-11. Connacht finished strongly and grabbed two tries in three minutes.

First, Carr latched on to a chip from replacement outside-half Miah Nikora, who also converted to cut the deficit to seven points, and he was followed over by Henshaw.

But Nikora could not convert which would have drawn the scores level.

In a dramatic finish Maule stretched over for the fourth try, but McKeon scored Connacht's fourth.


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