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RaboDirect PRO12: Connacht see off Edinburgh to clinch rare win
- Warburton to start for Blues
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- Saturday's Pro12 preview
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Connacht lifted themselves off the bottom of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with an 11-7 victory over Edinburgh at the Sportsground.
The Irish province had won only one of their last 12 league matches and they had to do it the hard way against eager Scottish side Edinburgh, whose last two league ties were postponed due to bad weather.
Roddy Grant's first try of the season was negated somewhat by a Craig Ronaldson penalty, but the Connacht fly-half missed his next three place-kicks as Edinburgh led 7-3 at half-time.
But Michael Swift - Connacht's most-capped player - plunged over in the 47th minute and Dan Parks came off the bench to kick the clinching penalty.
The hosts were unable to capitalise on their early possession and it was Edinburgh who swept into a seventh-minute lead, with Grant driven over following a quick ruck recycle.
Nick De Luca's break up to the hosts' 22-metre line did the initial damage and Grant had good support as he touched down from close range. South African newcomer Carl Bezuidenhout added the conversion.
Connacht opened their account midway through the half, winning a penalty at an Edinburgh scrum which Ronaldson stuck over.
With a lack of line-breaks and serious try-scoring threats, there was little spark shown by either side approaching the break and Ronaldson's series of missed kicks did little for his or the home fans' confidence levels.
He pulled a difficult effort to the right and wide in the 24th minute, but should have done better when hitting the post on the half-hour mark and also missed to the left with two minutes remaining.
Edinburgh had the wind at their backs in the second period but it was Connacht who lifted the intensity and accuracy of their play on the resumption.
Eoin Griffin provided the momentum with a rare break and Cornell du Preez's sin-binning - five metres out from the Edinburgh line - gave Connacht the impetus to take the lead.
The Scots' brave defence finally relented as second row Swift crossed near the posts after a series of pick and drives. Ronaldson's kicking woes continued though as he hit the post with the conversion.
Bezuidenhout then missed a 51st-minute penalty and, with the wind dying down and their error count rising, Edinburgh's frustrations only grew.
Connacht took control as the second half wore on, with man-of-the-match Ronan Loughney a prominent figure up front, and Parks' drilled penalty in the 68th minute was enough to settle the issue.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Sunday 21st December|
|16:00||Dragons vs Zebre|
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
|Friday 31st October|
|Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht|
|Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton Treviso|
|Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com