Benetton Treviso 6
CONNACHT WON THEIR third game on the bounce in the RaboDirect Pro12 for the first time in a year as they easily overcame Benetton Treviso in the Sportgrounds this evening.
The two sides had met seven times previously in the competition with honours even at three wins apiece and a single draw. However, the Westerners comfortably took control of the head to head with a facile victory this evening.
They first crossed the whitewash after five minutes when Dan Parks turned down a kick at goal to go for the corner. It proved to be the right call when Fionn Carr went over in the corner after good work from Eoin Griffin in the build-up.
Though Treviso pulled them back with a penalty just four minutes later, Connacht had their second try of the game on 14 minutes when John Muldoon scored. Once again, Parks was deadly accurate with the conversion to give Connacht an 11 point lead.
Mat Berquist nailed his second penalty of the game for the visitors on 21 minutes after Connacht were penalised at the scrum. However, the home side were soon out of sight thanks to a Parks penalty and a Kieran Marmion try on a night when he was winning his 50th cap.
A missed kick from Berquist after Connacht were once again penalised at the scrum ensured the home side went in 24-6 ahead at the break.
As the weather deteriorated in Galway, the scoring ground to a halt until the 63rd minute when Muldoon got his second try of the game, this time touching down to secure the bonus point after a rolling maul.
After Parks remained perfect with the conversion to make it 31-6, the home side made a raft of changes, including bringing in Finlay Bealham for his home debut.
The Italians were reduced to 13 men soon after when substitute Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet and Marco Filippucci were both sent to the sin bin within two minutes of each other, the former for a high tackle on Marmion and the latter for coming in off his feet.
With Treviso’s scrum in tatters, Eoin McKeon took full advantage to score his side’s fifth try with five minutes left with a pick from the back of the set-piece. Miah Nikora provided the extras to round off an impressive night for Pat Lam’s side.
Scorers for Connacht:
Tries: John Muldoon (2), Fionn Carr, Keith Marmion, Eoin McKeon
Cons: Dan Parks (4), Miah Nikora
Pens: Dan Parks
Scorers for Treviso:
Pens: Mat Berquist (2)
CONNACHT: Robbie Henshaw, Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Fionn Carr (Dannie Poolman 63), Dan Parks (Miah Nikora 67, Kieran Marmion (Frank Murphy 70); Denis Buckley (Finlay Bealham 67), Jason Harris-Wright (Dave Heffernan 67), Rodney Ah You (Nathan White 57), Aly Muldowney, Mick Kearney (Michael Swift 63), John Muldoon, Eoghan Masterson (Andrew Browne 51), Eoin McKeon.
BENETTON TREVISO: Angelo Esposito, Ludovico Nitoglia, Alberto Sgarbi, Joe van Niekerk, Andrea Pratichetti, Mat Berquist (Fabio Semenzato 66), Tobias Botes; Matteo Muccignat (Romulo Acosta 57), Giovanni Maistri (Franco Sbaraglini 57), Lorenzo Cittadini (Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet 62), Antonio Pavanello, Cornelius van Zyl (Marco Fuser 61), Manoa Vosawai (Robert Barbieri 49), Paul Derbyshire (Valerio Bernabo 50), Marco Filippucci.