Connacht 46 Ospreys 5
Connacht are up to third in Conference A thanks to a huge six try victory over the Ospreys at the Sportsground in Galway this afternoon.
Connacht got off to a fantastic start with just two minutes on the clock when Peter Robb received a flat pass in midfield and burst through the Ospreys defence. He laid the ball off to Kieran Marmion who immediately gave it to Tom Farrell who ran in under the posts for the first try of the game. Kyle Godwin converted to give Connacht an early 7-0 lead.
The home side had another good opportunity just minutes later when they went through numerous phases just a few metres out from the Ospreys line but the ball went forward from a Connacht hand much to the relief of the visitors.
Connacht kept the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties from the boot of Godwin but the out-half was at fault immediately after the restart when a clearing kick inside his own 22 was blocked down by Olly Cracknell which allowed Matthew Aubrey to collect and dot down in the corner. The difficult conversion attempt was wide of the posts so the home side now had a 13-5 lead.
Godwin almost made amends for the mistake just seconds later when he broke through a tackle from Luke Price and ran clear to score under the posts. However, Colby Fainga’a was adjudged to have blocked Sam Cross from making a potential tackle so the try was ruled out.
Connacht did score their second try on 25 minutes when Godwin changed the point of attack and passed back inside to Matt Healy who ran a superb line to break through the Ospreys defence to score under the posts. Godwin was accurate from the tee once more and the home side were 20-5 to the good with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
At the half-hour mark, Kieran Marmion carried hard into contact just metres out from the Ospreys line and with the help of his teammates, he was pushed over to give Connacht their third try which was converted by Godwin.
The Ospreys looked like they were going to get a much-needed score before halftime only for Tiernan O’Halloran to intercept a pass. The Connacht fullback was chased down by Keelan Giles before he kicked ahead. Giles recollected the ball in his own 22 but was pinged for holding on when he was under tremendous pressure from the chasing O’Halloran.
With the clock in the red, this gave Connacht an opportunity to secure the bonus point and they got that when Giles was penalised for a deliberate knock on. Referee Marius Mitrea believed it to be denying Connacht a clear try-scoring opportunity so the yellow card was issued and a penalty try awarded to the home side.
With a huge deficit to make up at the beginning of the second half, things got worse for the Ospreys when they lost Jordan Lay to the bin after a series of penalty concessions close to their own line.
A few moments later, Connacht took advantage of the huge gaps in the Ospreys defensive line.
Jarrad Butler broke through a gap and all he had to do was commit the last defender before setting Marmion free for his second try of the game.
Connacht made it six tries with less than 10 minutes remaining when Tom McCartney touched down off the back of a powerful rolling maul.
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran (Kelleher 56′), Stephen Fitzgerald, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Matt Healy, Kyle Godwin, Kieran Marmion (Blade 60′), Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt (McCartney 59′), Finlay Bealham (Carey 59′), Quinn Roux, Ultan Dillane, Eoin McKeon, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (captain).
Replacements: Tom McCartney, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade, Tom Daly, Cian Kelleher.
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen (Morgan 58′), Cory Allen, James Hook (Williams 58′), Keelan Giles, Luke Price, Matthew Aubrey (Morgan 58′), Jordan Lay, Scott Baldwin (Otten 56′), Tom Botha (Fia 53′), James King, Bradley Davies (Griffiths 58′), Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross, Rob McCusker (Jenkins 47′ McCusker 59′).
Replacements: Scott Otten, Rowan Jenkins, Ma’afu Fia, Lloyd Ashley, Will Griffiths, Harri Morgan, Tom Williams, Luke Morgan.