Connacht victorious at Murrayfield

Date published: March 4 2016

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A struggling Edinburgh could not get the edge over an impressive Connacht side at Murrayfield on Friday in the PRO12, as the visitors secured 23-28 bonus point victory.  

In the first half it was a far more even contest than the 0-14 score line suggested. A try from USA international AJ MacGinty got the visitors into a lead. 

Then indiscipline denied Edinburgh a try of their own before they were punished by by Jake Heenan. 

Edinburgh rallied excellently in the second half, tries from Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland and Cornell du Preez pulled the hosts to within one point of the visitors with 10 minutes to play. 

However, scores from Bundee Aki and Eoin McKeon helped Connacht pull clear and secure a 23-28 victory. 

The win sees Connacht gain yet another bonus-point victory and move six points clear of Leinster atop the Pro 12 table. 

Edinburgh, meanwhile, are now eight points adrift of the top four and with teams below them having games-in-hand look marooned in mid-table. 

The first try of the match was scored by Connacht's MacGinty in the 21st minute, the stand-off running an excellent line before driving over. 

Craig Ronaldson was successful in his conversion to take the league leaders into a seven-point lead. In the 31st minute, Edinburgh were denied a try by the TMO for illegally collapsing a maul. 

This resulted in lock Anton Bresler being shown a yellow card. Just a minute later, Connacht went down to the other end of the pitch to score. 

This time it was openside Heenan crashing over to extend the visitors' lead. Ronaldson was successful once more with his conversion to take the score to 0-14. 

On the stroke of half-time the Irish side went down to 14 men as Tiernan O'Halloran was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle. 

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was unsuccessful with the resultant penalty which meant that the visitors went into the interval with a 14-point lead. 

Dean pulled a try back for Edinburgh in the 44th minute, the centre crashing over in the corner after being found well by Hoyland. 

However, Connacht punished them once more, responding with a try of their own in the 46th minute. Bundee Aki spotting a gap and exploiting it well to crash over for the visitors' third try. Ronaldson was able to convert, establishing a 16-point lead. 

Hoyland scored Edinburgh's second try in the 52nd minute. A well worked move finding its way to the young winger who scored in the corner. Hidalgo-Clyne was able to convert on this occasion making the score 12-21. 

The home side had another try through du Preez in the 60th minute. The influential number eight powering over in the corner to score Edinburgh's third try. 

Hidalgo-Clyne missed his conversion but was successful with a penalty attempt in the 69th minute to take his side to within a solitary point of Connacht. 

The visitors defied Edinburgh pressure late on to score their bonus-point try in the 73rd minute. Eoin McKeon broke free from under the scrum to cross the whitewash and secure victory. 

Edinburgh scored a consolation penalty with the last kick of the match through Hidalgo-Clyne, securing a losing bonus point and leaving the final score 23-28.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Dean, Hoyland, Du Preez
Con: Hidalgo-Clyne
Pens: Hidalgo-Clyne 3
Yellow Card: Bresler 

For Connacht: 
Tries: MacGinty, Heenan, Aki, McKeon 
Cons: Ronaldson 3, MacGinty 
Yellow Card: O'Halloran 

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Dougie Fife

Connacht:15  Tiernan O’Halloran, 14  Danie Poolman, 13  Bundee Aki, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Matt Healy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Nathan White, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Peter Robb, 23 Fionn Carr

Referee: Ben Whitehouse ( WRU)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White, Cammy Rudkin (both SRU)
TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU)

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