Connacht reach PRO12 Final

Date published: May 21 2016

Connacht booked their place in the PRO12 final with a 16-11 victory over Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground on Saturday.

The first half saw a penalty a piece for AJ MacGinty and Duncan Weir, with Connacht's Niyi Adeolokun scoring the only try in the first 40 minutes. 

In the second half, Connacht scored two further penalties courtesy of MacGinty. Weir kicked one penalty, but failed to convert Glasgows only try of the night which came through Leone Nakarawa. 

Scotland outside half Finn Russell was replaced in the opening minute after a collision with Connacht's Bundee Aki led to him leaving the field on a stretcher. After 20 minutes of heavy attritional play from both sides, Connacht looked to have broken the deadlock. 

But, Eoin Mckeon?s try was ruled out when TMO Carlo Damasco spotted a knock-on earlier in the passage of play. But, the breakthrough eventually came courtesy of a MacGinty penalty a few minutes later. 

Weir was quick to level from the tee in the blustery conditions at the Galway Sportsground. The first try of the evening came just before half time. 

A wonderful kick through from Aki was picked up by Adeoloukun, and the Nigerian winger had the power and speed to break the tackles and cross underneath the posts. After the break, it was Glasgow who came out swinging. 

Second row giant Nakarawa powered over from close range on one of his last appearances for the side before his move to Racing 92 next season. 

A MacGinty penalty kept Connacht five points clear of their opposition, but a quick fire Weir penalty reduced the deficit back to two. The battle of the boot continued between the kickers with MacGinty slotting his third penalty of the night. 

With ten minutes to go, it looked like Adeolokun had scored his second try of the game, but the TMO stepped in once again and ruled the effort out for accidental offside. 

Connacht's replacement prop Rodney Ah You was shown yellow in the final ten minutes for a dangerous tackle on Stuart Hogg, setting up a tense ending to the game for both sides. 

But, Glasgow failed to capitalise on the man advantage and Connacht held on for the victory. The defeat for Glasgow means they forfeit the chance to retain their title. 

But for Connacht, the fairytale season continues, and it will culminate when they face Leinster at Murrayfield on the 28 May.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Pens: MacGinty
Pens: MacGinty 3

For Glasgow Warriors:
Pens: Weir 2

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Ronan Loughney
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 John Cooney, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Peter Robb

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray (c), 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Adam Ashe, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (WRU) Stefano Penne (FIR)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)