Connacht keep Champions Cup charge on track

Connacht 53 Benetton Treviso 5

Connacht keep Champions Cup charge on track

Pat Lam’s men secured a ninth Guinness Pro 12 win with a seven-try haul, consolidating their sixth place and pushing them five points clear of the chasing Scarlets.

Full-back Tieran O’Halloran, in his first start, began the try-fest and out-half Craig Ronaldson added the first of his 18 points with the conversion. He added two penalties before Treviso, playing tails-up rugby, struck through centre John Samuel Christie for a deserved try. Jayden Hayward missed the conversion.

However it was all one-way traffic on the restart, flanker Jake Heenan touching down, Ronaldson converting from the touchline to give Connacht a 20-5 lead. Matt Healy had their third try on 51 minutesand the bonus point arrived courtesy of the dominant pack, prop Denis Buckley securing the touchdown. Ronaldson added both conversions for a 34-5 lead. Muldowney, Healy and Danie Poolmancompleted the rout.

CONNACHT: T O’Halloran, NAdeolokun, D Poolman, D McSharry, M Healy, C Ronaldson, J Cooney, D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, Q Roux, A Muldowney, J Muldoon (cpt), J Heenan, E Masterson.

Replacements: C Finn for Adeolokun (41m), M Kearney for Roux (42m), G Naoupu for Masterson (52m), S Delahunt for McCartney, R Loughney for Buckley and I Porter for Cooney (all 57m), F Bealham for Ah You (62m), J Carty for O’Halloran (66m).

TREVISO: J Hayward, S Ragusi, A Pratichetti, S Christie, L Nitoglia, J Ambrosini, A Lucchese, M Zanusso, D Giazzon (cpt), R Harden, T Vallejos, M Swanepoel, N Cattina, D Budd, M Luamanu.

Replacements: H Seniloli for Lucchesse (32m), R Acosta for Zanusso, S Manu for R Harden, and M Barbini for N Cattina (all 41m), A Pavenello for T Vallejos (48m), J Carlisle for Hayward (52m), R Acosta for Giazzon (63), R Seniloli for (66m).

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