Connacht made to work for bonus-point win

Date published: November 14 2015

Connacht got their Challenge Cup campaign off to a positive start as they battled past RC Enisei 31-14 in Krasnoyarsk on Saturday.

In testing conditions in Russia, the Irish province found it hard to put their expansive game together and were only 6-0 ahead at the interval.

But in the second-half the contest opened up as Connacht picked up the four-try victory to give them an excellent start to their pool charge.

Their first try came in the 49th minute from wing Niyi Adeolokun before flanker John Muldoon crossed two minutes later to give them a cushion.

Full-back Darragh Leader would score Connacht's third just after the hour mark before RC Enisei hit back through replacement front-row Andrei Polivalov, which brought loud cheers from those braving the cold conditions in the stadium.

Connacht though secured the bonus-point with four minutes remaining when fly-half AJ MacGinty's cross-kick found wing Rory Parata and despite Polivalov crossing again late on, the Irish side would go home happy with all five points.

The scorers:

For RC Enisei:
Tries: Polivalov 2
Cons: Kushnarev 2

For Connacht:
Tries: Adeolokun, Muldoon, Leader, Parata
Con: Leader
Pens: MacGinty 3

RC Enisei: 15 Iurii Kushnarev, 14 Mikhail Babaev, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Dmitrii Gerasimov, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Ramil Gaisin, 9 Jurijs Baranovs (c), 8 Dmitrii Krotov, 7 Andrey Temnov, 6 Vitalii Orlov, 5 Viacheslav Krasylnyk, 4 Uldis Saulite, 3 Innokentiy Zykov, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Aleksandr Bezverkhov.
Replacements: 16 Nazir Gasanov, 17 Andrei Polivalov, 18 Evgenii Pronenko, 19 Evgeny Elgin, 20 Sergey Kuzmenko, 21 Alexey Shcherban, 22 Dmitriy Simonov, 23 Anton Rudoi.

Connacht: 15 Darragh Leader, 14 Rory Parata, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Niyi Adeolokun, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Ian Porter, 8 George Naoupu, 7 James Connolly, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Denis Buckley.
Relacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Conan O'Donnell, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 Sean O'Brien, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Craig Ronaldson.

Referee: Sébastien Minery (Fra)
Assistant Referees: Arnaud Blondel (Fra), Sergey Murashkin (Rus)