Friday 17 January 2020

Connacht stung by Wasps as Keane era begins

Wasps 40 Connacht 22

It looked like Connacht would start his reign with a win when they led by 22-12 after 64 minutes but Wasps came with a big finish to blow them away. (stock picture)
It looked like Connacht would start his reign with a win when they led by 22-12 after 64 minutes but Wasps came with a big finish to blow them away. (stock picture)

John Fallon

The Kieran Keane era is up and running in Connacht and the New Zealander will have learned a lot from seeing 29 of his new charges in action in Coventry.

It looked like Connacht would start his reign with a win when they led by 22-12 after 64 minutes but Wasps came with a big finish to blow them away.

Former Leinster man Brendan Macken got one of their six tries in what was a good work-out for both sides as they prepare for the start of the new season.

Connacht deservedly led 12-5 at the break thanks to early tries from Tom McCartney and debutant Rory Scholes.

Hooker McCartney got the opening try after six minutes after good hands from new signing Scholes down the right wing.

Former Ulster player Scholes, signed from Edinburgh during the summer, then got the second try for Connacht after a superb chip from Jack Carty put the former Irish U-20 in at the corner, with Craig Ronaldson adding the conversion.

Stacey Ili got a third shortly after the break with Steve Crosbie adding the conversion and a penalty to lead by 22-12 after 64 minutes.

But Wasps took over from there with Christian Wade getting a second try as they secured a good win in front of a crowd of 7,134 at the Ricoh Arena.

Keane is sure to be concerned by the final-quarter collapse but the new head coach will be hoping to learn a bit more when his predecessor Pat Lam brings his Bristol side to the Sportsground on Saturday.

 

Wasps - R Miller; C Wade, J de Jongh, G Lovobalavu, M Watson; J Gopperth, D Robson; M Mullan, A Johnson, J Cooper-Woolley; M Symons, W Rowlands; J Gaskell, G Thompson, N Hughes. Reps used: T Cruse, S McIntyre, M Moore, K Myall, J Willis, A Rieder, J Simpson, D Cipriani, G Armitage, B Macken, J Bassett, O James.

Connacht - D Leader; R Scholes, E Griffin, C Ronaldson, M Healy; J Carty, J Mitchell; P McCabe, T McCartney, C Carey; J Cannon, A Browne; E Masterson, J Butler, J Muldoon. Reps: S Delahunt, C O'Donnell, D Roberston-McCoy, P Claffey, G Thornbury, E McKeon, J Connolly, S O'Brien, C McKeon, S Crosbie, M Byrne, S Ili, C Brennan, C Kelleher.

ref - C Maxwell-Keys

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