Connacht find Ospreys too hot to handle

AFTER last weekend’s historic Heineken Cup fixture against Toulouse, Connacht’s desire to translate their strong European form into points in the RaboDirect Pro 12 came unstuck against league pacesetters Ospreys.

The hosts trailed 10-6 at the break, and despite winning sufficient ball, particularly through the line-out, they failed to finish off at least seven chances to cross the Ospreys’ line, falling to their seventh defeat in succession.

Connacht created several try-scoring opportunities and were worthy of their lead via a Miah Nikora penalty.

However within three minutes, out-half Matthew Morgan had replied and when he grabbed the only try of the half, which he converted, the visitors took a 10 — 3 lead. Connacht secured three successive penalties at the start of the second half, resulting in Ian Gough’s sinbinning, but they failed to capitalise.

A knock-on five metres out resulted in a wasted chance, and critically they were penalised for crossing after a superb break from Tiernan O’Halloran.

The turning point came when Duncan Jones led the charge to establish territory before Sonny Parker broke for a try to seal the victory.

CONNACHT: G Duffy (cpt), B Tuohy, D McSharry, J Fa’afili, T O’Halloran, M Nikora, P O’Donohoe, B Wilkinson, A Flavin, R Ah You, D Gannon, G Naoupu, TJ Anderson, J Muldoon, R Ofisa. Replacements: M Kearney for Anderson (ht), N O’Connor for Nikora and F Murphy for O’Donohoe (51), E Reynecke for Flavin and R Loughney for Wilkinson (both 54), S Maguire for Ah You and M McCrea for Tuohy (68), E Grace for Ofisa (70).

OSPREYS: B Davis, T Bowe, A Bishop, A Beck, R Fussell, M Morgan, R Webb, D Jones, R Hibbard, A Jarvis, I Gough, J King, T Smith (c), C O’Toole, J Bearnman.

Replacements: S Parker for Beck (53), C Griffiths for Jarvis (57), H Dirksen for Bowe (74), M Davies for Hibberd (75), L Peers for Gough (78), T Isaacs for Webb and Joe Rees for Jones (both 78).

Referee: A McMenemy (SRU).

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