Connacht put dent in Ospreys' title ambitions
Connacht 22 Ospreys 10:Connacht, in returning to the Sporstsground for the first time in a month, grabbed their fifth RaboDirect Pro 12 win and dented the champions’ title ambitions. The Ospreys left without even a bonus point.
Eric Elwood said Connacht, having lost last weekend, had gone some way to achieving their seasonal ambitions with the four points before heading to Cardiff next week.
The home side led at the break 13-7 and in the second half outscored their opponents by 9-3. They also leapfrogged Edinburgh in the table.
Connacht outhalf Dan Parks kicked a seventh minute penalty to open the scoring when the visitors were caught offside. However a succession of penalties allowed the Ospreys to establish territorial control before scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i took a quick tap penalty to dive over for a 10th minute try, which outhalf Matthew Morgan converted.
Connacht’s forwards regained the initiative, and working through the phases, left wing Danie Poolman made a valuable break. John Muldoon was held up on the line, but Michael Swift set up ruck ball for openside Willie Faloon who dived over for Connacht’s first try after 17 minutes.
Parks hit the conversion and could have added to the score three minutes later when Connacht’s pack had the Ospreys in all sorts of bother in the scrum. Although Parks missed the penalty from just inside half way, he made no mistake 10 minutes later.
The home side also grabbed the first score after the restart to stretch their lead to 16-7 after Morgel Ellen was penalised. Although the Ospreys edged into bonus territory with a 69th-minute penalty, Connacht finished the stronger. A thundering tackle by Henshaw on Thomas Haberfield from Park’s garryowen, and smothering follow-up from Eoin Griffin earned Connacht the penalty which Parks converted. Two minutes later he struck a drop goal to wrap up the victory .