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RaboDirect Pro12: Connacht ran out 22-10 winners against Ospreys
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Connacht beat the in-form Ospreys for the first time since 2008 in their RaboDirect Pro12 clash at the Sportsground on Friday night.
Dan Parks scored 17 points in a 22-10 win as the Irish province produced a disciplined performance after Kahn Fotuali'i and Willie Faloon had traded early scores.
Although the visitors had the better of possession early on, Connacht snuck into a seventh-minute lead as Parks punished a scrum infringement by Cai Griffiths.
But, playing into the wind, a good spell of ball retention duly paid off for the Ospreys on the quarter-hour mark. Morgan was held up short before his half-back partner Fotuali'i quickly tapped a penalty and burrowed over from close range.
Morgan converted but the Ospreys lead lasted barely four minutes as the hosts hit back in determined fashion.
Connacht attacked from a solid scrum with John Muldoon and Michael Swift linking on the right wing. The ball was recycled and flanker Faloon's clever line took him over past two defenders.
Parks added the two but then missed from long range before extending the lead to six points before the break to reward another power-packed scrum.
The wind advantage was with the Ospreys for the second period, but a Kyle Tonetti block and a subsequent three-pointer from Parks kept Connacht on course.
The former Scotland international drew a drop-goal attempt wide and as time ticked by, the Ospreys continued to make errors and struggle for accuracy.
Minus a raft of Wales internationals, the title holders brought on Rhys Webb and Jonathan Thomas and a gradual improvement led to Matthew Morgan's lone penalty goal.
Then a pinpoint kick from Parks allowed Robbie Henshaw to hammer Richard Fussell in the tackle and the Ospreys full-back coughed up a penalty for holding on.
The stand-off clipped the place-kick over from the left for a 19-10 scoreline and the final nail in the Ospreys coffin was driven in by his sweetly-struck drop goal two minutes from time, leaving the visitors without the consolation of a bonus point.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Sunday 28th September|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton Treviso|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Munster 14 - 19 Ospreys|
|Zebre 13 - 6 Ulster|
|Friday 26th September|
|Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff Blues|
|Glasgow 39 - 21 Connacht|
|Edinburgh 20 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Ospreys 62 - 13 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton Treviso|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 Glasgow|
|Friday 19th September|
|Connacht 10 - 9 Leinster|
|Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 Ulster|
|Munster 31 - 5 Zebre|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 Glasgow|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Leinster 42 - 12 Scarlets|
|Friday 12th September|
|Ulster 33 - 13 Zebre|
|Edinburgh 13 - 14 Connacht|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys|
|Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 Munster|
|Sunday 7th September|
|Zebre 26 - 41 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 6th September|
|Glasgow 22 - 20 Leinster|
|Connacht 16 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 32 - 32 Ulster|
|Friday 5th September|
|Munster 13 - 14 Edinburgh|
|Ospreys 44 - 13 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com