Planet Rugby

Connacht sneak to victory

15th February 2014 18:55

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Connacht Dan Parks Rugby union Heineken Cup

Penalty: Dan Parks

Michael Swift's try proved to be the difference as Connacht defeated Scottish visitors Edinburgh 11-7 at the Sportsground.

Roddy Grant's touchdown, converted by Carl Bezuidenhout, gave the Scottish outfit a 7-3 advantage at the interval, with Craig Ronaldson replying for the Irish province.

Swift then crossed the whitewash to take Pat Lam's side into the lead for the first time before Dan Parks' penalty sealed the victory.

In a battle between two of this season's strugglers, the visitors went into the game with five Pro12 victories, while their opponents had garnered just two.

It was the team residing in eighth position that opened the scoring when a fine break from Nick De Luca resulted in Grant going over. Despite that try, Alan Solomons' men struggled to hold onto the ball throughout the first half and conceded a number of penalties to the hosts.

A 20th-minute opportunity from the tee was duly converted by Ronaldson to reduce the deficit to 7-3, but three further Edinburgh infringements weren't punished by the fly-half as the away side went into the break four points clear.

The second half continued in the same manner as the first with the visitors succumbing to the referee's whistle.

That pressure eventually resulted in Cornell du Preez being sin-binned and, in the following passage of play, Swift touched down to give Connacht the lead.

Edinburgh's attacking play was stagnant after the interval and the Irish team duly controlled the game. It was then left to Parks to seal the victory when he converted a three-point chance 12 minutes from time.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try: SwiftPens: Ronaldson, Parks

For Edinburgh:
Try: Grant
Con: Bezuidenhout
Yellow Card: Du Preez

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Tiernan O'Halloran, 10 Craig Ronaldson, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Michael Swift, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughneym. 18 JP Cooney, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Dan Parks, 23 Darragh Leader

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 James Hilterbrand, 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Harry Leonard

Referee: Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Assistant referees: Olly Hodges (Ireland), Mark Connolly (Ireland)

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