Paul Boyle seals the deal as Connacht claim bonus in South Africa

Connacht up to second spot in Conference B on back of pack’s performance

Paul Boyle goes past Cyril-John Velleman of Southern Kings to score his side’s fourth try in the Guinness Pro 14 game at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Paul Boyle goes past Cyril-John Velleman of Southern Kings to score his side’s fourth try in the Guinness Pro 14 game at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Southern Kings 14 Connacht 31

Connacht moved into second place in Conference A of the Guinness Pro 14 as Paul Boyle celebrated his new contract with the bonus-point try against Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Cian Kelleher and Matt Healy also crossed in the first half, while the utterly dominant Connacht pack earned a penalty try as well as seven penalties at the scrum.

The passing and handling skills of the Kings let them down too often, while Connacht bossed the breakdown, which gave them the platform to carve out the win

After a week in Cape Town, Connacht were well acclimatised to their South African surroundings and they hit this game with real intensity. Jack Carty landed a penalty after four minutes to start them off, and six minutes later his crossfield kick picked out Kelleher for the opening try. Carty converted for a 10-0 lead.

After that shaky start the Kings soon settled though. A penalty won at the lineout allowed them to enter the Connacht 22, and after their driving maul was halted, fullback Masixole Banda showed brilliant skills to skip round the tackles of Tom Farrell and Tiernan O’Halloran to score.

Kings were not able to keep the pressure on and CJ Velleman knocked on from the restart, and after Caolin Blade was held up over the try-line, a colossal scrum battle ensued over the next six minutes. Connacht certainly held the upper hand as referee George Clancy doled out the penalties against Kings – eventually loosehead Lupumlo Mguca was sin-binned – and one more scrum penalty saw the penalty try awarded for a 17-7 lead after 36 minutes.

With one man less to face in the defensive line, Connacht struck again just before half-time off a first-phase lineout move. The throw went quickly to Denis Buckley and after a loop play involving Blade, O’Halloran sent Healy over in the opposite corner. Carty converted to make it 24-7 at half-time.

Kings were certainly an improved outfit after the break and the arrival of Italy international number eight Dries van Schalkwyk improved matters for the South Africans. He was involved in their second try, a wonderful team score, finished off by Ntabeni Dukisa in the 51st minute.

Connacht never looked in trouble and they bagged the all important fourth try just after the hour mark. Replacement backrow Boyle, who signed a new contract with the province during the week, a he celebrated the deal with a fine score under the posts.

SOUTHERN KINGS: M Banda; M Makase, H Klaasen, B Klaasen, Y Penxe; M Du Toit, S Ungerer; L Mguca, A Van Rooyen, N Oosthuizen; S Greeff, JC Astle (c); CJ Velleman, J Van Vuuren, R Lerm.

Replacements: A Tshakweni for Van Vuuren (36-45 mins), N Dukisa for Du Toit (h/t), A Tshakweni for Mguca (56), T Balekile for van Rooyen (57), A Van Schalkwyk for Greeff (41-51 HIA, 59), A Tshakweni for Burger (59), G Masimla for Ungerer (63), L Pupuma for Oosthuizen (63), T Kruger for Klaasen (64).

CONNACHT: T O’Halloran; C Kelleher, K Godwin, T Farrell, M Healy; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, S Delahunt, C Carey; U Dillane, J Cannon; S O’Brien, C Fainga’a, J Butler (c).

Replacements: P McCabe for Buckley (h/t), P Boyle for O’Brien (41 mins), D Robertson McCoy for Carey (51), T McCartney for Delahunt (53), D Horwitz for Carty (60), G Thornbury for Cannon (60), J Mitchell for Blade (63), D Leader for O’Halloran (72).

Referee: G Clancy (IRFU).

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