Connacht 28Edinburgh 15
AFTER TWO HOME losses already this season, Connacht needed a victory to kick-start their Pro12 season and they got it as tries from Niyi Adeolokun, Quinn Roux, Cian Kelleher and Peter Robb secured a bonus-point victory over Edinburgh.
In a week of turmoil for Edinburgh, the Scottish side almost stole a losing bonus-point late on when Mike Allen ran in his third try of the season, but Jason Tovey was off the mark with the conversion and the outstanding Robb raced in the bonus try for the hosts moments later.
After Tovey’s early penalty got Edinburgh off the mark, Adeolokun raced clear of the Edinburgh defence to score the home side’s first try in the 10th minute. Debutant prop Conor Carey burrowed forward before Jack Carty released Adeolokun who showed great pace to touch down. Carty added the extras to put Pat Lam’s side 7-3 to the good.
The visitors hit back with a try from captain Grant Gilchrist on 20 minutes which Tovey converted. This drew the sides level before Carty edged Connacht in front again with a penalty.
Connacht ensured their half-time advantage with a try from Irish international Roux in the 37th minute. Tiernan O’Halloran made the initial break before Kelleher made further ground. With Jake Heenan heavily involved, the ball was eventually shipped out wide to Roux and the second row provided the finish to give the home side an 18-10 advantage at the interval.
Kelleher showed his pace again after half time as he grabbed Connacht’s third try in the 46th minute. From a line-out, Caolin Blade, Adeolokun and Carty all combined to send the former Leinster man clear. Carty failed with the conversion but Kelleher’s try gave the hosts a 23-10 lead.
A 71st-minute try from Allen brought Edinburgh within eight points of the hosts but Peter Robb’s try in the 74th minute put the result beyond doubt.
Tries: Niyi Adeolokun, Quinn Roux, Cian Kelleher, Peter Robb
Conversions: Jack Carty (1)
Penalties: Jack Carty (2)
Tries: Grant Gilchrist, Mike Allen
Conversion: Jason Tovey
Penalty: Jason Tovey
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun (Shane O’Leary ’37-’41, blood), Bundee Aki (Shane O’Leary ’75), Peter Robb, Matt Healy (Cian Kelleher ’4); Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade ’42); Denis Buckley (Ronan Loughney ’68), Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan ’72), Conor Carey (Finlay Bealham ’47); Quinn Roux, Ultan Dillane (Lewis Stevenson ’75); Eoin McKeon (James Connolly ’59), Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).
Edinburgh: Glenn Bryce; Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Solomoni Rasolea, Mike Allen; Jason Tovey (Blair Kinghorn ’80), Sean Kennedy (Sam Hidalgo-Clyne ’63); Rory Sutherland (Allan Dell ’63), Ross Ford (Stuart McInally ’59), WP Nel; Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist (capt) (Lewis Carmichael ’79); Magnus Bradbury, John Hardie, Cornell Du Preez (Hamish Watson ’21-’28, blood & ’59).
Replacements not used: Jack Cosgrove, Sasa Tofilau.
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
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