Saturday 24 February 2018

Carolan in positive mood as Eagles end on a high note

Connacht Eagles 12 Llanelli 10

Craig Ronaldson, Connacht
Craig Ronaldson, Connacht

Connacht Eagles coach Nigel Carolan said it was a significant boost to finish the campaign on a high by holding off Llanelli at the Sportsground.

Both of these sides were out of contention before this clash but Connacht, who were hammered 59-3 in Rotherham last week, at least got back to winning ways.

"It was important to wrap it up with a victory after last week but we have been using this competition to try out players and it has worked," he said.

Llanelli were on top for long spells in the first half but still trailed 3-0 at the break thanks to a penalty from Craig Ronaldson after 11 minutes.

Connacht outside-centre Rory Parata gave his side a lot of go-forward ball and Ronaldson increased the lead just after the restart with a kick from 25 metres.

Josh Lewis responded with a penalty before Ronaldson tacked on two more penalties before Llanelli hit back.

Aaron Warren scored in the corner but, while Dan Jones landed the difficult conversion, they could not conjure a winning score.

Connacht Eagles -- S Layden; D Panter, R Parata, C Finn (J Murphy 72), S Macauley; C Ronaldson (T Leader 74), F Murphy (C Blade 55); R Loughney, D Heffernan (J Rael 74), JP Cooney (F Bealham 70); D Qualter, A Muldowney; A Conneely (S Casey 72), R Moloney, E Masterson (A McCloskey 65).

Llanelli -- S Evans; A Warren, I Evans, S Hughes (Dion Jones 77), K Evans; J Lewis (Dan Jones 77), C Lloyd (J Evans 55); W Jones (G Thomas 65), D Harris (R Elias 77), H Pungea (B Leung 55); C Jones (N White 65), L Jones; L Rawlins, C Price, S Leach.

REF -- M O'Grady (RFU)

Irish Independent

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