WILLIE FALOON’S FIRST half try and 17 points from the boot of Dan Parks helped Connacht to a 22-10 over the reigning Pro12 champions Ospreys.
With Parks’ personal tally already at three, the Ospreys had shown the early impetus in this game, Kahn Fotualii running in an early score after quick-tapping a scrum penalty against the western province.
However, it did not take long for the hosts to hit back.
Faloon, starting in a back row alongside John Muldoon, gave the Sportsground something to cheer about as he put Connacht back into the lead with his 16th minute score. The openside burst in from close range after Michael Swift had made a strong carry.
Parks was once again on target with the conversion and bisected the posts again with a 30th minute penalty to extend the advantage to 13 – 7 at half time.
The margin soon became nine as the visitors strayed offside on the edge of their own 22 to allow Parks another shot at goal.
Matthew Morgan brought the Welsh outfit back within a single score, but the ex-Scotland international would deny the champions even a bonus point with a fourth penalty and a late drop-goal.
The only down side to the night was the first half injury to Tiernan O’Halloran. Post-match Eric Elwood described the injuries suffered as ‘”too early to say” when interviewed by TG4, but he did confirm that O’Halloran’s injury was a medial ligament. A knee injury at this stage could end the back’s season.
Elsewhere, Glasgow Warriors underlined their credentials for another play-off berth with a stunning 6o – 3 blitz of the Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales.
The Scots crossed the try-line eight times to briefly close the gap on leaders Ulster, before they too ended with a bonus point at home to Zebre.
The Warriors’ countrymen, Edinburgh enjoyed no such fortunes. They slipped to a 16-17 defeat at home to Cardiff, the Welsh points coming thanks to four penalties from Rhys Patchell and a try from second row Mike Paterson.
That results ensures Connacht leap-frog Edinburgh into ninth place in the Pro12 table.