Tuesday 20 March 2018

Connacht battle back to claim bonus

Benetton Treviso 24

Connacht 17

Connacht had to settle for a losing bonus-point in Treviso but did well to come back after falling 21-10 behind in the early on in the second-half.

The net result was a third defeat on the trot as Treviso made it four wins from five home games in their maiden season in the Magners League.

Connacht, having failed to score a try in their three previous Magners League games, got a perfect start when hooker Adrian Flavin crashed over after less than three minutes after a lineout tap down from Mike McCarthy, and Ian Keatley added the points.

Two penalties from South African scrumhalf Tobie Botes reduced the deficit to 7-6 after 15 minutes before No 8 Robert Barbieri set-up his outhalf Chris Burton for a try which was converted by Botes to make it 13-7 after 24 minutes had elapsed.

Botes and Keatley swapped penalties to make it 16-10 at the break but disaster struck for Connacht three minutes after Barbieri again made the opening to create the try which was finished by the Italian winger Ludovico Nitoglia.

But Connacht kept battling away and they were rewarded just after the hour mark with a moment of genius from Fionn Carr put Frank Murphy through and he sent a looping pass in for Niva Ta'auso to go over.

Keatley converted to make it 21-17 with 16 minutes remaining but while Connacht piled on the pressure in the closing stages, Treviso made the game safe with Botes getting his fourth penalty of the night in the dying moments.

Scorers -- Benetton Treviso: Burton, Nitoglia tries; Botes 4 pens, con.

Cannacht: Flavin, Ta'auso tries; Keatley 2 cons, pen.

Benetton Treviso: B Williams; L Nitoglia, T Benvenuti, G Garcia (A Sgarbi), J Maddock; C Burton, T Botes; I Fernandez Rouyet (L Cittadini 50), L Ghiraldini (F Sbaraglini 50), P Di Santo (M Muccignat 50 (Fernandez Rouyet 75)); A Pavanello, C Van Zyl; B Vermaak (S Picone 61), A Zanni, R Barbieri.

Connacht: G Duffy; D Fanning (T Nathan 45), N Ta'auso (D Murphy 68), K Matthews, F Carr; I Keatley (M Nikora 65), C Willis (F Murphy 57); B Wilkinson (R Loughney 64), A Flavin, J Hagan (B Fa'amausili 46); M Swift, M McCarthy; J O'Connor, R Ofisa (E Taylor 28 (B Upton 52)), J Muldoon.

Referee: T Hayes (Wales).

Sunday Independent

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