Planet Rugby

Edinburgh edge out Connacht

01st December 2012 18:50

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Matt Scott edinburgh v dragons

Matt Scott: Scored one of Edinburgh's tries

Edinburgh claimed a narrow 24-23 victory over Connacht in a PRO12 encounter at the Sportsground in Galway on Saturday.

Despite the chilly conditions, it didn't take long for the match to warm up on the field as the visitors raced into an early lead after five minutes with a try from the league's leading try-scorer Tim Visser.

The prolific winger hacked a loose ball upfield and sprinted clear of the covering defenders to score the game's opening try, which captain Greig Laidlaw converted.

The home side responded quickly though and, after getting into opposition territory, the forwards worked hard to engineer an opportunity from an attacking line-out and Willie Faloon touched down.

Former Scotland fly-half Dan Parks added the conversion against his countrymen to level the scores and he and Laidlaw exchanged penalties as the half wore on and the initiative swung back and forth.

Edinburgh had the better of the possession and territory though and they eventually broke down the Connacht defence for a second time when Laidlaw's chip over the top was gathered in and touched down by centre Matt Scott.

Laidlaw was on target again with the conversion but Parks slotted over a late penalty to cut the deficit to just four points and keep the hosts within touching distance at the interval.

Parks reduced the arrears again to a solitary point just before the hour mark but that sparked last season's Heineken Cup semi-finalists into action again and, after a good break from David Denton, Stuart McInally coasted over to score.

Connacht refused to give in though and they pulled to within one point of Edinburgh once more when they sucked men in on the right-hand side of the field before getting the ball wide for South African centre Danie Poolman to cross the whitewash.

And the hosts looked like snatching the win in the dying stages put Parks missed with a late drop goal and Edinburgh held on to continue their recovery from some poor early season form with a second successive victory.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: Kearney, Poolman
Pen: Parks 3
Con: Parks 2

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Visser, Scott, McInally
Con: Laidlaw 3
Pen: Laidlaw

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry,11 Gavin Duffy (capt), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Johnny O'Connor, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 Dave Gannon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (c), 9 Richie Rees, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Perry Parker, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Izak van der Westhuizen, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Dougie Fife.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland)
Television match official: Jude Quinn (Ireland)
Assessor: Jack Young (Ireland)

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