Thursday 19 July 2018

Rotherham rally sinks plucky Eagles

Rotherham 28 Connacht Eagles 23

Naulia Dawai made his first appeareance of the season with Connacht Eagles after returning from injury. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Naulia Dawai made his first appeareance of the season with Connacht Eagles after returning from injury. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

A second-half rally proved decisive as Rotherham Titans got the better of Connacht A at Clifton Lane.

Following lengthy injury lay-offs, Ireland international Niyi Adeolokun and Fiji's Naulia Dawai were making their first appearances of the season.

Dawai was keen to make an impression for Mossy Lawler's men, and after Luke Carty and Ryan traded three-pointers in the early stages, the powerful flanker registered a converted try.

Rotherham restored parity with a well-worked finish from Charlie Maddison, but in addition to eight points from the boot of Carty, a try from Dave Heffernan ensured Connacht entered the second period in a commanding position.

Rotherham worked their way back into contention when Foley dotted down on 54 minutes, and courtesy of Burns's five-pointer on the hour mark, the Connacht lead was reduced to the minimum.

This set-up a nail-biting conclusion, but after Ryan enhanced his personal tally in the closing moments of an entertaining encounter, Connacht had to be content with a losing bonus point on their journey home.

Rotherham Titans - B Foley; W Hamilton, Y Loizias, L Peters, D Cheshire; C Ryan, F Vieira; T Williams, C Maddison, A Foster; R Louw, G Borrowdale; M Postlethwaite, A Peters, T Burns. Reps: J Murphy, B Palmer, N Opedo, T Willis, W Porter, L Millar, J Cooke.

Connacht - M Byrne; N Adeolokun, S Ili, K Joyce, C de Buitléar; L Carty, C McKeon; D Robertson-McCoy, D Heffernan, JP Cooney; G Thornbury, P Claffey; N Dawai, P Boyle, H Fox. Reps: P O'Toole, C Kenny, N Murray, C Huxford, S Kerins, M Codyre, A Leavy.

Ref - E Williams (WRU).

Irish Independent

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