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Connacht

  • Carr,
    Penalty goals: Parks (2),
    Drop goals: Parks,
14 - 11

Newport Gwent D'gons

  • Amos,
    Penalty goals: Tovey (2),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 21st Dec 2013
  • KO 17:00
  • Ground: Galway Sportsground
  • Att: 4,033

RaboDirect Pro12: Connacht end run of eight league defeats

Last updated: 21st December 2013  

Hallam Amos Wales Rugby union Millennium Stadium Cardiff

Hallam Amos: Newport Gwent Dragons wing scored early try

Connacht Dan Parks Rugby union Heineken Cup

Dan Parks: Connacht stand-off kicked two penalties and a drop goal

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Dan Parks' late drop goal earned Connacht a 14-11 win against Newport Gwent Dragons at a rain-lashed Sportsground, their long-awaited second win of the RaboDirect PRO12 season.

Pat Lam's men had endured eight successive defeats since beating Zebre in round one back in September, falling to the bottom rung of the league table.

But despite going 8-0 down to the Dragons inside 16 minutes, Connacht - helped by a dominant scrum and line-out - fought their way to a gutsy three-point win.

Daniel Evans' early unconverted try was the difference between the sides at the break, the wind-backed Dragons establishing a 8-3 interval lead with Jason Tovey and Parks swapping penalties.

Two more successful kicks from Parks and Tovey followed and Lyn Jones' side maintained their 11-8 lead despite losing prop Owen Evans to the sin-bin.

But Connacht produced the stronger finish with Parks setting up replacement Fionn Carr for a 75th-minute try and then nailing his vital drop goal with just over a minute left.

Reshuffle

The sixth-minute withdrawal of centre David McSharry, who picked up an ankle injury, forced Connacht to shuffle their back-line with Carr introduced and both Robbie Henshaw and Gavin Duffy making positional switches.

It was Henshaw's missed tackle that allowed Ross Wardle to break through midfield in the eighth minute and tee up full-back Evans for his five-pointer.

Tovey, who had missed an earlier penalty, was back on target with a 16th minute penalty as the Welsh region kept pressing with a strong wind at their backs.

However, Connacht then used their solid scrum to build some momentum, with youngsters Eoin McKeon and Michael Kearney both prominent in the set-pieces.

A scrum penalty allowed Parks to knock over a 33rd minute penalty and as the strength of the wind dropped noticeably, Connacht's forwards exerted more influence with the visitors' chances to attack curtailed.

The gap was down to just two points after Parks kicked a penalty early in the second half, punishing young lock Cory Hill for being caught offside.

Possession

A good spell of possession saw the Dragons hit back with Tovey left-footing a long range penalty, but a yellow card was looming for the visitors as their own penalty count increased.

Loosehead prop Owen Evans was the man to see yellow on the hour mark, referee Alain Rolland sin-binning him for a foot trip. However, the home side suffered further frustration when Parks failed to convert the resulting penalty.

The Dragons kept it simple during a weather-beaten final quarter, with number eight Toby Faletau leading by example in terms of his sharpness on the ball.

But Connacht - driven on by man-of-the-match John Muldoon - pounced for a levelling try with five minutes left, Parks' deft crossfield kick being dotted down by the unmarked Carr out wide.

The former Scotland international narrowly missed his conversion attempt to the left, however, and Connacht needed to work their way downfield to set up a second shot at the posts for him - and he delivered.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - February 28 2015
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 15 10
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 27th February
Guinness PRO12
19:35Ospreys vs Leinster
19:35Ulster vs Scarlets
Saturday 28th February
19:15Munster vs Glasgow Warriors
Sunday 1st March
12:45Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh
17:00Zebre vs Dragons
17:15Connacht vs Treviso
Friday 6th March
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre
Saturday 7th March
14:40Ospreys vs Munster
17:15Scarlets vs Leinster
18:00Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh
Sunday 8th March
16:00Dragons vs Ulster
Friday 27th March
19:35Leinster vs Glasgow
19:35Ulster vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 28th March
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCOspreys vs Zebre
14:40Scarlets vs Edinburgh
17:15Munster vs Connacht
Friday 10th April
19:35Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys
Saturday 11th April
TBCEdinburgh vs Munster
TBCZebre vs Scarlets
14:40Connacht vs Ulster
Sunday 12th April
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster
Friday 24th April
19:35Edinburgh vs Zebre

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