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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954