Connacht vs Edinburgh Rugby, Sat, 31/10/2015 - 18:45

Connacht
14 - 9
Full time
Edinburgh Rugby
Saturday, 31 October, 2015 - 18:45 | Sportsground

After opening the competitive season with four consecutive wins, the hope was that last weekend’s jarring defeat away to Zebre wouldn’t be repeated this weekend. Although Edinburgh won’t leave Galway pointless, a losing bonus point wasn’t high on the game plan against Connacht.

Three penalties – two from scrum half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and a massive boot from Blair Kinghorn, making his first start for the club – versus a try and three penalties from the home side saw the Irish province edge the win after a scrappy opening period from the visitors.

Reflecting on last week’s game in relation to tonight’s performance, head coach Alan Solomons said: “Last week we were disappointing but this week I thought we were much, much better but the penalty count played a major role.

“We had six penalties in under half an hour – their first eight points were due to a succession of penalties.

“There were many positives, however, and Blair, who I thought was playing really well, got an excellent kick and a great run down the touchline.

“Even right at the death, though, the guys took their chances.”

The home side kicked off the scoring, after eight minutes, through stand-off Jack Carty after Edinburgh were pinged for coming in at the side.

That score seemed to fire up Connacht who really hit their stride two minutes later,  winger Matt Healy making a storming break from almost halfway to offload to fullback Tiernan O’Halloran who powered over the whitewash to make it 8-0, Carty’s conversion attempt resounding the wrong way off the posts.

The capital club retaliated almost immediately, a rolling maul almost getting the pack over the line. Connacht, however, infringed at the breakdown and Edinburgh were awarded the penalty, Hidalgo-Clyne slotting it successfully.

Momentum continued to swing in Edinburgh’s favour, the charge led on a number occasions by Kinghorn who then demonstrated his prowess with the boot as well as the break when his penalty, from a few feet inside the Scottish side’s half, sailed between the uprights just before half time to make it 8-6 at the break.

After an ankle niggle in the run-up to the break, Nick McLennan came on for Kinghorn in the second half with next three points going Connacht’s way after Carty nailed another penalty.

Hidalgo-Clyne and Carty then traded penalties going into the last period, making the score 14-9.

Both sides let indiscipline creep into their game as the clock ticked down. Two penalty attempts from Carty for Connacht went wide and short respectively while Edinburgh lock Fraser McKenzie left the field after a yellow card, with three minutes to go.

A roar from the home crowd signalled that 80 minutes was up, however Edinburgh continued to press, working their way upfield for the next few minutes until they lost the ball at the breakdown, Connacht kicked out and it was all over.

After returning home tomorrow, Edinburgh have six days to regroup before taking on their fourth Irish province of the season, Munster at home, looking to get their good start back on track.

Team lineups

Connacht
Edinburgh Rugby

Backs

15 Tiernan O'Halloran
14 Darragh Laeder
13 Bundee Aki
12 Craig Ronaldson
11 Matt Healy
10 Jack Carty
9 Kieran Marmion

Backs

15
14
13
12
11
10
9

Forwards

1 Denis Buckley
2 Tom McCartney
3 Rodney Ah You
4 Aly Muldowney
5 Andrew Browne
6 John Muldoon
7 Nepia Fox-Matamua
8 Eoghan Masterson

Forwards

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Substitutes

16 Dave Heffernan
17 Finlay Bealham
18 Nathan White
19 Quinn Roux
20 Eoin McKeon
21 Ian Porter
22 Rory Parata
23 Niyi Adeolokun

Substitutes

16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Man of the match: 
Tiernan O'Halloran

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 table

PosTeamPWLDPts
1Leinster 22166073
2Connacht 22157073
3Glasgow Warriors22147172
4Ulster22148069
5Munster22139063
6Scarlets22148063
7Cardiff Blues221111056
8Ospreys221110155
9Edinburgh Rugby221111054
10Dragons Rugby22418026
11Zebre22517024
12Benetton Treviso22319020

GUINNESS PRO12 2015/16 latest results

Ospreys 26 v 46 Ulster
Zebre 47 v 22 Dragons Rugby
Connacht 14 v 7 Glasgow Warriors
Edinburgh Rugby 17 v 21 Cardiff Blues
Leinster 50 v 19 Benetton Treviso