Five-try Connacht thrash Zebre

Date published: November 22 2014

Connacht ran five unanswered tries past a hapless Zebre outfit to win 43-3 in Friday’s Pro12 clash at the Sportsground in Galway.

Connacht ran five unanswered tries past a hapless Zebre outfit to win 43-3 in Friday’s Pro12 clash at the Sportsground in Galway.

A powerful second-half performance in tough conditions secured an impressive win for Connacht.

Connacht headed into the game looking to address a run of two consecutive defeats, while Zebre were looking to bounce back from last week’s reverse at Scarlets.

Ian Porter put Connacht in front with a penalty goal on 13 minutes after he’d missed with two earlier attempts, but within three minutes David Odiete put Zebre back on level terms.

Porter struck Connacht back in front with his second goal as the rain continued to pour at Galway, making handling tough for both teams.

The hosts established a stronger advantage later in the first half, when Mils Muliaina put Daniel Poolman over in the corner with a fine ball. Porter was wide with the conversion but he hit two more penalties to make it 17-3 at half-time.

The game-breaking try came early in the second half, when Mick Kearney piled over the line following good work from the Connacht forwards.

Porter added the conversion, and though Zebre rallied in the minutes that followed, it was Connacht who extended the lead through a penalty try, which Miah Nikora converted on the hour.

The bonus point was secured four minutes later when John Cooney gathered the offload to sprint over, and then Jack Carty hacked on the loose ball to add another try and pile on the misery for the Italians.

Carty converted the latter score to complete a great win in poor conditions for Connacht.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: Poolman, Kearney, Penalty try, Cooney, Carty
Cons: Porter, Nikora, Carty
Pens: Porter 4

For Zebre:
Pen: Odiete
Yellow cards: Cristiano, Ferreira, Lovotti

Connacht: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Ian Porter, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Tom McCartney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Darragh Leader

Zebre: 15 Hendrik Daniller, 14 David Odiete, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Michele Visentin, 10 Edoardo Padovani, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Mauro Bergamasco (c), 5 Valerio Bernab