CONNACHT SECURED A hard-earned 32-24 victory in their RaboDirect12 encounter against Edinburgh at Murrayfield this evening.
Greig Laidlaw’s eight penalties – a record for his club – could not prevent Connacht from triumphing, as Robbie Henshaw’s first-ever try for the province with five minutes remaining helped them secure victory.
Connacht had trailed at half-time, despite scoring the only try of the first-half.
Four penalties from Laidlaw put the hosts 12-3 ahead, before Mick Kearney crossed over after a good break by Gavin Duffy. Parks then added to his tally with a conversion, having scored his side’s first penalty of the game.
Parks was then sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on that brought a halt to an Edinburgh attack, and Laidlaw again kicked the ensuing penalty, before Duffy brought his side to within two points of their opponents on the stroke of half-time, standing in in place of the absent Scottish fly-half.
Connacht began the second half well and took a 19-15 lead, thanks to two consummate Parks penalties, as he made up for the earlier misdemeanour following his return to the pitch.
Yet there were further problems for the Irish side, as Ronan Loughney was yellow-carded, with two subsequent Laidlaw penalties restoring his side’s slender advantage
A Parks drop goal made it 22-21, with just under 20 minutes remaining, before Laidlaw kicked his eighth penalty of the night.
Connacht enjoyed a superb finish to the game though, as Rob Henshaw touched down amid a flurry of bodies to give Connacht some breathing space, with Parks converting.
Parks then confirmed his side’s victory in the dying seconds, as he successfully slotted over a penalty from the 10-metre line.
The win means Connacht are now in 8th place in the RaboDirect Pro12 table, two points ahead of the Cardiff Blues.