Pro12: Connacht 28-15 Edinburgh

Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Edinburgh's Magnus Bradbury and Rory Sutherland
Connacht's Bundee Aki is tackled by Edinburgh's Magnus Bradbury and Rory Sutherland
Connacht (18) 28
Tries: Adeolokun, Roux, Kelleher, Robb Cons: Carty Pens: Carty 2
Edinburgh (10) 15
Tries: Gilchrist, Allen Cons: Tovey Pens: Tovey

Pro12 champions Connacht secured their first points of the season by scoring four tries in a bonus-point win over Edinburgh at the Sportsground.

Niyi Adeolokun, Quinn Roux, Cian Kelleher and Peter Robb touched down for Connacht, who had lost all three of their previous fixtures.

Grant Gilchrist and Michael Allen were the visitors' try-scorers.

The game was the first for Duncan Hodge in acting charge of Edinburgh following head coach Alan Solomons' departure.

The Scottish outfit are 10th in the table, having won only one of their first five matches in the campaign.

The hosts went in at the break 18-10 to the good thanks to scores from Adeolokun and Roux, which sandwiched Edinburgh skipper Gilchrist's effort.

Connacht again outscored the visitors by two tries to one after half-time, with Allen's try no more than a consolation as replacement Kelleher and Robb clinched a five-pointer for the Irish province.

The hosts got off to the worst possible start as Kelleher had to come on for injured wing Matt Healy in only the third minute, and Jason Tovey put the visitors ahead with a penalty from close range two minutes later.

But Pat Lam's men were not in the mood to lie down in front of an expectant Galway audience, and after their forwards earned a penalty on halfway from an Edinburgh scrum, Connacht were able to build the phases before Adeolokun pinned his ears back and charged over the whitewash.

Jack Carty made no mistake with the extras to make it 7-3, before adding the game's second penalty inside the Edinburgh 22 moments later.

Gilchrist hit back for his side in an end-to-end opening to the clash, after Tovey made a half break and set up his skipper to score a well-worked try.

Fly-half Tovey levelled the scores temporarily with the conversion, but that lasted all of two minutes as the visitors were penalised for coming in at the side and Carty struck his third kick from the tee through the posts.

Bundee Aki, Matt Healy and Cian Kelleher celebrate Connacht's first win of the season after the final whistle
Bundee Aki, Matt Healy and Cian Kelleher celebrate Connacht's first win of the season after the final whistle

Edinburgh spent most of the next quarter of an hour camped inside their own 22, but handling errors from the hosts and resolute scrummaging from Hodge's men kept their opponents at bay until the four minutes from the break.

Roux finally breached their defences to go over in the right corner to make their pressure count - although Carty missed his first attempt of the evening to leave eight points between the sides at the interval.

Connacht came out flying after the break, winning a penalty at the breakdown to kick to the Edinburgh 10-metre line, and Carty's delightful one-handed offload saw Kelleher over for his first try for the club.

The visitors pushed hard for a way back into the contest, but once they finally forced their way into Connacht's 22, a series of huge defensive tackles from the hosts forced the knock-on.

Connacht were able to stop a driving maul from Edinburgh in the 63rd minute, but it was game on again 10 minutes from time as the Scots finally made all their pressure count.

Great handling from the Edinburgh backline bought Allen the space out wide to run in, although crucially Tovey's conversion from out wide hit the post to keep Connacht eight points clear.

But in the end that miss did not prove decisive as the hosts secured their try bonus point just three minutes later, centre Robb racing into the corner to take the final score to 28-15.


Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Conor Carey; Quinn Roux, Ultan Dillane; Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan for McCartney (72), Ronan Loughney for Buckley (68), Finlay Bealham for Carey (47), Lewis Stevenson for Dillane (76), James Connolly for E McKeon (59), Caolin Blade for Marmion (42), Shane O'Leary for Adeolokun (41), Cian Kelleher for Healy (4).

Edinburgh: Glenn Bryce, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Solomoni Rasolea, Michael Allen, Jason Tovey, Sean Kennedy; Rory Sutherland, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist (capt), Magnus Bradbury, John Hardie, Cornell Du Preez.

Replacements: Stuart McInally for Ford (59), Allan Dell for Kennedy (63), Lewis Carmichael for Gilchrist (79), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne for Sutherland (63), Blair Kinghorn for Tovey (80).

Not Used: Jack Cosgrove, Hamish Watson, Sasa Tolfilau.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU).

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