Sunday 17 November 2019

First half tries do the damage as Connacht continue impressive run with win at the Ospreys

Ospreys 10 Connacht 20

Peter Robb of Connacht celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the Guinness PRO14 Round 5 match between Ospreys and Connacht at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales. Photo by Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile
Peter Robb of Connacht celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the Guinness PRO14 Round 5 match between Ospreys and Connacht at Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales. Photo by Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile

Steffan Thomas

CONNACHT’S impressive start to the season continued as they comfortably beat a toothless Ospreys outfit 20-10 in Swansea.

Tries from Niyi Adeolokun and Peter Robb along with 10 points from the boot of Conor Fitzgerald was enough to seal an impressive victory in Wales. Allen Clarke’s side could only manage one try courtesy of hooker Sam Parry with Luke Price and James Hook kicking five points between them.

Price gave the hosts an early 3-0 lead but Connacht hit back immediately with a terrific try. The ball was spread wide to Adeolokun who hacked the ball forward into the Ospreys in goal area before showing real pace to regather and score with Fitzgerald converting.

Fitzgerald extended Connacht’s lead with three points from the kicking tee after the Ospreys were penalised for illegally dropping the scrum just when the hosts were pushing forward. The visitors were in complete control and came close when Darragh Leader was brought down just short of the line after a mazy 50 metre break. Former Wales stalwart Dan Lydiate was then shown a yellow card for cynically killing the ball at the breakdown.

But instead of opting for the easy three points Connacht preferred to chance their arm and got their just rewards with Robb crashing over from short range off the back of a dominant scrum with Fitzgerald converting to give the visitors a 17-3 lead at the interval.

After an early period of pressure from Connacht the Ospreys fought their way back into the match and cut the visiting lead to seven with Parry powering over from short range off the back of a powerful driving lineout. But Connacht hit straight back and began to apply pressure in the Ospreys 22.

They were then awarded a penalty with a Fitzgerald putting Friend’s side two scores clear with his successful kick from 40 metres out. Connacht’s pack began to turn the screw as they lay siege to the Ospreys try line.

The visitors proceeded to try and batter their way over the home try line but firstly through their driving maul and secondly with their heavy ball carriers. But the Ospreys defence managed to stay intact as they turned the ball over to relieve some pressure.

The Welsh region struggled to get out of their own half during the final quarter of the game with Cai Evans falling short with a late penalty which would have given the Welsh region a losing bonus point.

Ospreys: C Evans; H Dirksen, S Williams, T Thomas-Wheeler, T Williams (L Klim 53); L Price (J Hook 41), M Aubrey (R Morgan-Williams 74); R Jones (G Thomas 61), S Parry (S Otten 62), T Botha (M Fia 53), M Orie, L Ashley, D Lydiate, O Cracknell, D Baker (M Morris 41).

Connacht: D Leader; N Adeolokun (S Fitzgerald 65), T Farrell, P Robb (T Daly 77), J Porch; C Fitzgerald, K Marmion (C Blade 51); D Buckley (M Burke 62), D Heffernan (J Murphy 66), D Robertson-McCoy (C Kenny 58), U Dillane (C Gallagher 41), J Maksymiw (R Copeland 62), E Masterson, J Butler, P Boyle.

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