Planet Rugby

Connacht see off Scarlets

12th February 2011 21:48

Share:

Mike McCarthy Connacht 2009

Connacht held off the Scarlets to record a memorable 17-13 Magners League victory at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Half-backs Ian Keatley and Frank Murphy scored all of Connacht's points, with Murphy's 13th-minute try leaving the Scarlets 8-3 adrift at half-time.

Gareth Maule touched down from the visitors' first attack of the second half. But the Welsh region could only garner a losing bonus point as Keatley, with a 12-point tally, booted Connacht home.

A gusting wind was the main factor in a disjointed opening 40 minutes. Good early work from Connacht's forwards went unrewarded when Keatley scuffed a long-range penalty away to the left of the posts.

The Scarlets pack kept the ball well, facing into the elements, but lacked the territory to put Connacht under serious pressure.

The returning Lou Reed, Rob McCusker and Johnathan Edwards were hungry for work and kept forcing tackles from the hosts, for whom stand-in captain Johnny O'Connor led by example.

In the 13th minute, Murphy linked with Keatley to the right of a scrum in the Scarlets 22. He took the return pass and dummied past Regan King and Martin Roberts to score in the corner.

Keatley's missed conversion was followed by Dan Newton's opening penalty, six minutes later. The young out-half slotted over from in front of the posts after a ruck infringement from Mike McCarthy.

The remainder of the half was slugged out between the packs. There was plenty of industry but no end product.

However, in injury-time, some good harrying from Murphy and Mike McComish forced the Scarlets to cough up a penalty, and Keatley fired over from outside the 22 for an 8-3 advantage.

The second half was just 54 seconds old when King evaded the grasp of the Connacht cover and passed for winger Maule to glide in at the left corner. Newton tagged on the tricky conversion and the game suddenly went up a gear.

The Scarlets lost their way though, failing foul of referee Andrew McMenemy at the breakdown. Keatley mopped up with two successful penalties from three attempts on goal, with the wind dying down.

On the hour mark, the Welsh side also had centre Scott Williams sin-binned for being offside at a Connacht ruck near halfway.

Connacht could not add to their try count, Michael Swift blew their best chance out wide when fumbling a pass from Troy Nathan.

Eric Elwood's men tightened their grip on the match points when Keatley added his fourth penalty, before Newton replied to give the Scarlets something to show for their efforts.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Try: Murphy
Pens: Keatley 4

For Scarlets:
Try:Maule
Con: NewtonPens: Newton 2

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Brian Tuohy, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Troy Nathan, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Mike McComish, 7 Johnny O'Connor (c), 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Dermot Murphy, 17 Dylan Rogers, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Bernie Upton, 20 Ray Ofisa, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Mia Nikora, 23 Shane Monahan.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Darren Daniel, 13 Regan King, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Gareth Maule, 10 Dan Newton, 9 Martin Roberts ,8 Ben Morgan, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Rob McCusker, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Vernon Cooper, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Iestyn Thomas (c).
Replacements: 16 Rhys Lawrence, 17 Simon Gardiner, 18 Owen Evans, 19 Jonny Fa'amatuainu, 20 Nick Cudd, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Nick Reynolds.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411