Pro14: Connacht see off Ospreys to boost play-off chances
|Guinness Pro14: Connacht v Ospreys|
|Connacht (34) 46|
|Tries: Farrell, Healy, Marmion 2, penalty try, McCartney Cons: Godwin 4; Pens: Godwin 2|
|Ospreys (5) 5|
Connacht boosted their play-off and Champions Cup qualification hopes with a six-try win over Ospreys in Galway.
It was a sixth defeat in a row for the Welsh club, the last three at the hands of Irish teams in the Pro14.
Connacht had a bonus point secured in the first half after Tom Farrell, Matt Healy and Kieran Marmion touchdowns and a penalty try.
Matthew Aubrey got the sole Ospreys try while Marmion and Tom McCartney added for the hosts after the break.
Connacht are third in Conference A, eight points better off than the fifth-placed Ospreys.
With the blustery Galway wind at their backs, the hosts wasted little time in hitting the front, outside centre Tom Farrell touching down inside three minutes.
Fly-half Kyle Godwin then added two penalties to his conversion for 13-0 but it was his mistake which led to a 10th-minute try for Ospreys.
The Australian's clearance kick was charged down by Ospreys skipper Olly Cracknell and the ball bobbled up nicely for scrum-half Aubrey to score in the right corner.
Godwin had a great solo try ruled out for obstruction by Colby Fainga'a back on halfway, but the scores kept coming for the westerners.
Godwin and Farrell combined on a 24th-minute switch move which invited Healy to hurtle through, evade a tackle and go in under the posts.
The third Connacht try quickly followed when Ospreys were blown up for a crooked lineout and Marmion determinedly wrestled his way over via the five-metre scrum.
The visitors were pressing for a try just before half-time but Tiernan O'Halloran's intercept launched play to the other end, where Giles' deliberate knock-on - with three Connacht men waiting to convert an overlap - resulted in referee Marius Mitrea binning him and awarding a penalty try.
With prop Jordan Lay guilty of playing the ball on the ground near his own try-line, Ospreys were briefly down to 13 men on the resumption.
They held their Conference A rivals out until the 51st minute when skipper Jarrad Butler laid off for Marmion to get his second of the match.
Wales lock Bradley Davies' trip on Stephen Fitzgerald earned him 10 minutes in the bin, allowing Connacht to quickly set up the final try for McCartney.
Connacht: O'Halloran; S. Fitzgerald, Farrell, Robb, Healy; Godwin, Marmion; Buckley, Delahunt, Bealham, Roux, Dillane, E. McKeon, Faingaa, Butler.
Replacements: McCartney, McCabe, Carey, Cannon, Boyle, Blade, Daly, Kelleher.
Ospreys: Evans; Dirksen, Allen, Hook, Giles; Price, Aubrey; Lay, Baldwin, Botha, King, B. Davies, Cracknell, Cross, McCusker.
Replacements: Otten, Jenkins, Fia, Ashley, Griffiths, H. Morgan, T. Williams, L. Morgan.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), Matteo Liperini (FIR)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)