Treviso edge leaders Connacht

Date published: April 29 2016

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A last minute Jayden Hayward penalty helped Treviso snatch a 22-21 victory the over table topping Connacht in the PRO12 at Stadio Monigo on Friday.

Connacht looked to have taken full control early on through tries from Rory Parata and Fionn Carr. 

But Luca Morisi and Jayden Hayward hit back before the break, with a penalty try five minutes into the second half putting Treviso ahead. 

But Peter Robb snatched back the lead with his first Connacht try to win the game. And as it looked like Connacht would seal victory, Jayden Hayward kicked a last minute penalty to record a shock 22-21 win for Treviso. 

Looking to secure their place at the top of the Pro 12 table, there was probably no better place to go do Connacht than the troubled Treviso. The Italians had won just twice in 20 games heading into this one, and the end of the season comes as something of a blessing. 

The first 10 minutes were a tight encounter with neither side able to properly break clear, but a minute after that mark, the opening try came. It was Connacht who got it unsurprisingly, making the most of an advantage as Rory Parata went through a gap and under the posts. 

John Cooney added the extras, and he was soon called up on again. Great work from Tiernan O'Halloran at the break got Connacht going, and a Jack Carty chip was pounced on by Fionn Carr who stormed over. 

Cooney from the 22 kicked through and it looked game over already. But Treviso weren't about to concede defeat and were on top until the break. 

After winning a penalty at the scrum, the hosts threw bodies forward and centre Luca Morisi forced himself over to hit back almost immediately. Though the conversion was missed, Treviso were back celebrating again almost immediately after, in the same way Connacht were earlier. 

Hayward went over just inside the left corner, although replays suggested his boot may have strayed out of play in the process. It wasn't pulled up though, and Hayward reduced the deficit to just a couple of points by the time the whistle was blown to end the first 40. 

Completely against expectations, Treviso took the lead within the first five minutes of the second half with a scrum five metres from the try line spelt trouble for Connacht, and after intense pressure, the referee awarded the penalty try. Hayward converted, and the lead for Treviso was at five points. 

But at a time of desperation, the visitors were saved by Peter Robb. He was helped by his teammates and forced his way over in the corner, grabbing his first Connacht try and stealing back the lead. 

That came when Cooney kicked through right from the touch line, making it three from three with his finest effort. Treviso were doing the pressing late on as they looked to claim back the lead, and they almost got it on a couple of occasions. 

And right at the last minute, the hosts shockingly did so. Hayward was presented with a very speculative penalty as time was up on the clock. A long range attempt, from the half way line, but he had the length and accuracy to slot the kick and seal one of the most unpredictable wins of the entire season.

Scorers:

For Trevsio:
Tries: Morisi, Steyn, Penalty try 
Cons: Hayward 2
Pen: Hayward

For Connacht:
Tries: Parata, Carr, Robb
Cons: Cooney 3

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Matteo Zanusso
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Cherif Traorè, 18 Salesi Manu, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Luke McLean, 23 Tommaso Iannone

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Jack Carty, 9 John Cooney, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Tom McCartney (c), 1 Ronan Loughney
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Coalin Blade, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Robbie Henshaw

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Claudio Blessano (Italy), Stefano Bolzonella (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)

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