Pro14: Connacht earn 33-12 win over wasteful Dragons in Galway
|Connacht (26) 33|
|Tries: Cannon, Leader, Fainga'a, McCartney, Farrell Cons: Horwitz 3, Carty|
|Dragons (0) 12|
|Tries: Amos, Basham Con: Tovey|
Connacht punished wasteful Dragons in a 33-12 Pro14 bonus-point win in Galway.
Dragons squandered three line breaks early on - notably Taine Basham's failure to find Dafydd Howells on 21 minutes when a try seemed certain.
Moments later, James Cannon scored the first of four Connacht tries before the break as Darragh Leader, Colby Fainga'a and Tom McCartney also touched down.
Hallam Amos and Basham scored second-half Dragons tries either side of a Tom Farrell score for the winners.
The Welsh outfit threatened as early as the first minute but Joseph Davies was unable to hold Richard Hibbard's pass.
Connacht had another escape on 18 minutes after Harrison Keddie's attempted pass to scrum-half Rhodri Williams didn't match the quality of his break.
With the match still scoreless, then came Dragons' worst moment of profligacy as Wales under-20 player Basham couldn't find Howell on his inside after the Connacht defence had been left totally exposed.
Leader punted the loose ball downfield to set up a five-metre scrum which yielded Cannon's try and the roof fell in on the Dragons' evening in the remaining 17 minutes before half-time as Connacht plundered three more tries to lead 26-0.
Tiernan O'Halloran's quick hands allowed late inclusion Leader to notch his score on 27 minutes before fly-half David Horwitz's break helped set up the Fainga'a try.
Former Australian Under-20 Horwitz, making his first start for the Irish province, slotted his third successful conversion of the first period after hooker McCartney had barged his way over.
Dragons did get on the scoreboard in the second half as Amos ran in unopposed while youngster Basham finished off a period of late intense pressure with his score.
But Connacht were never in any danger of being caught as Ireland scrum-half Kieran Marmion had a score disallowed for a ruck infringement by Ultan Dillane before centre Farrell ran in the province's fifth try.
Connacht: T O'Halloran; D Leader, C De Buitléar, K Godwin, T Farrell; D Horwitz, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, C Carey, U Dillane, J Cannon, S O'Brien, C Fainga'a J Butler
Replacements: S Delahunt, M Burke, C O'Donnell, J Maksymiw, J Connolly, C Blade, J Carty, E Griffin.
Dragons: J Williams, D Howells, H Amos, J Sage, W Talbot-Davies, J Tovey, R Williams; B Harris, R Hibbard (captain), L Fairbrother, J Davies, L Evans, H Keddie, N Cudd, T Basham
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Aaron Jarvis, Dan Suter, James Thomas, Huw Taylor, Tavis Knoyle, Jack Dixon, Adam Warren
Referee: Quinton Immelman (SARU)
Assistant Referees: Johnny Erskine (IRFU), Rob O'Sullivan (IRFU)
TMO: Leo Colgan (IRFU)