Monday 19 August 2019

'We won't be giving out about the Galway weather now' - Connacht win in Siberia freeze

The Connacht bench tries to remain warm
The Connacht bench tries to remain warm Newsdesk Newsdesk

Connacht had to pull out all the stops to secure a five-point success against Russian minnows Enisei-STM befire ultimately securing a 31-14 success.

Rory Parata gathered a cross-field kick from AJ McGinty to score in the corner with four minutes remaining on the clock to help the western province to a promising start in their European Challenge Cup campaign.

Players' hair froze over in Arctic conditions and both struggled with the conditions as McGinty kicked two penalties on his debut to give the visitors a 6-0 lead at the interval.

Connacht's scrum dominance began to tell in the second half as they came out with a renewed vigour.

MacGinty landed his third penalty in the 44th minute, and three minutes later Niyi Adeolokun dived over for their first try following a powerful scrum on an Enisei put-in.

Two quickfire tries from John Muldoon and Darragh Leader put Pat Lam's side in firm control.

The Russian did score two late consolation tries through prop Andrei Polivalov before Parata's all-important touchdown.

"As the week went on it got colder and colder and today was the worst by far. We went for a little stroll in the morning and my phone was telling me it was -26C," Connacht skipper Muldoon told RTE Sport.

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"We didn't really fire in the first half, the conditions probably caught us out a little bit but once we got going in the second half we pulled ahead.

"It was a fantastic week and we capped it off with a good win.

"It was a lot colder than any of is have ever experienced before and maybe we won't be giving out about the Galway weather as much now."

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