Planet Rugby

Dragons stutter in Galway

18th March 2010 00:58

Share:

Ian Keatley Connacht

Ian Keatley: On top form

Connacht's Ian Keatley won the fly-half battle as the Magners League's bottom side picked up a much-needed 16-3 win over the Dragons in Galway.

Keatley kicked three penalties and converted Fionn Carr's first-half try to extend Connacht's impressive unbeaten home run, which stretches back to September, and dent the Dragons' play-off hopes.

Paul Turner's charges were missing internationals Luke Charteris and Danny Lydiate and the injured trio of Adam Jones, Lewis Evans and James Harris.

But it is doubtful if any of those players would have made a difference at the Sportsground as Connacht were largely dominant and the Dragons were restricted to just a single penalty from 20-year-old fly-half Jason Tovey.

It was clear from the off that Keatley, who is two years older than his opposite number, would have the better platform to work off as the Connacht forwards were highly effective at set-piece time, with lock Mike McCarthy stealing two Dragons lineouts.

That hard graft up front saw Keatley convert two penalty goals after nine and 15 minutes and Michael Bradley's men moved 13-0 ahead at the midpoint of the half, completing a terrific breakaway try.

Scrum-half Conor O'Loughlin used turnover ball to make a break and kicked through for Liam Bibo to chase. He gathered well and found his fellow winger Carr with a lofted pass, and Connacht's top try-scorer of the current campaign did the rest, outpacing the cover to score close to the posts.

Keatley added the extras to Carr's 12th try in 16 outings this season. The Dragons, seeking to spoil the St Patrick's Day celebrations, showed signs of life with some strong running from centre Matthews Watkins, but their wide men were kept out of the game as Connacht kept play tight.

Tovey landed a penalty to cut the gap to 13-3 at half-time, after Tom Willis and his Dragons forwards were stopped five metres out.

However, the Dragons were off colour once again during a rather listless second half.

Connacht, with John Muldoon and George Naoupu carrying well, built through the phases impressively, setting up an early penalty for Keatley which he sent through the posts.

The Ireland international missed two further efforts, and while the Dragons almost hit back with a try - Bibo produced a brilliant hit on Watkins to force a turnover - and ended the game camped on the home line, Connacht held firm to hand the Welsh side their first defeat in five matches.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try Carr
Con: Keatley
Pens: Keatley 3

For the Dragons:
Pen: Tovey

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Liam Bibo, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Keith Matthews, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor O'Loughlin, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Loughney, 17 Robbie Morris, 18 Bernie Upton, 19 Mike McComish, 20 Kieran Campbell, 21 Miah Nikora, 22 Aidan Wynne.

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Mathew Watkins, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Grant Webb, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Toby Faletau, 5 Hoani Macdonald, 4 Rob Sidoli, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tom Willis (capt), 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Pat Palmer, 18 Andrew Coombs, 19 Adam Brown, 20 Tom Riley, 21 James Arlidge, 22 James Leadbeater.

Date: Wednesday, March 18

Venue: Galway Sportsground

Kick-off: 18.30

Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615