RaboDirect Pro 12: Connacht 17-13 Newport Gwent Dragons

Gavin Thomas, Gavin Duffy and Adam Jones
Connacht's Gavin Duffy is about to be tackled by Gavin Thomas and Adam Jones at the Sportsground

Connacht fought back from 13-3 down at half-time to beat Newport Gwent Dragons in Friday's Pro 12 clash in Galway.

The Dragons appeared in control at the break with Jason Tovey kicking eight points and Nathan Williams scoring his first try for the Welsh side.

But tries from Eoin Griffin and Gavin Duffy helped Connacht maintain their fine start to the season as they earned their third win in four games.

The win moved Connacht up to second in the table after Friday's fixtures.

Tovey watched his first penalty attempt bounce back off a post but from a similar position he gave the Dragons a seventh-minute lead.

In wet and windy conditions, Niall O'Connor levelled for Connacht with a well-struck penalty from distance but he then missed another good chance for three points as both sides struggled to build momentum in attack.

The Dragons took the lead in the 30th minute as Matthew Pewtner's angled run that took him past Ethienne Reynecke and the pressure eventually told as prop Williams crashed over.

Tovey converted and quickly added another penalty to extend the Dragons' half-time lead to 13-3 adrift and it could have been greater as the fly-half missed another good chance before the break.

Connacht didn't appear to be making much headway after the restart and Eric Elwood introduced replacement half-backs Paul O'Donohoe and Matthew Jarvis for Frank Murphy and O'Connor in the 53rd minute.

They made a quick impact by setting up a Connacht attack on the hour which culminated in Griffin scoring after a slick exchange of passes with Tiernan O'Halloran.

Jarvis followed up with a brilliant touchline conversion to close the gap to three points and with the 3,706-strong crowd raising the decibel level Connacht quickly snaffled a second try.

Irish international Duffy sniped through with ball in hand and after good continuity from the forwards, O'Halloran's inviting pass put his captain diving over in the corner.

Jarvis again had the accuracy from the left touchline as Connacht's impressive start to the season continued.


Connacht: Duffy, Tuohy, Griffin, Fa'afili, O'Halloran, N O'Connor, F. Murphy, Wilkinson, Reynecke, Ah You, Gannon, McCarthy, Muldoon, J O'Connor, Ofisa.

Replacements: Jarvis for N O'Connor (52), O'Donohoe for F Murphy (53), Loughney for Wilkinson (46), Flavin for Reynecke (44), Rogers for Ah You (56), Anderson for Ofisa (66).

Not Used: Kearney, Loxton.

Newport-Gwent Dragons: M Thomas, Pewtner, Leach, A Smith, O'Driscoll, Tovey, Bedford, N Williams, Willis, Way, A Jones, Sidoli, L Evans, G Thomas, Coombs.

Replacements: Riley for Leach (36), Price for Way (48), Waters for A. Jones (75).

Not Used: Buckley, Buck, Groves, W. Evans, M. Jones.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)

Top Stories