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- Guinness PRO12
- 3rd May 2014
- KO 17:00
- Ground: Galway Sportsground
- Att: 5,168
RaboDirect PRO12: Cardiff extend winning run to four with 22-15 win at Connacht
Cardiff won in Ireland for the first time in 16 months as they came from behind to beat Connacht 22-15 at the Sportsground.
The Welsh region profited from a penalty try and two touchdowns from Lewis Jones and Dan Fish as they completed a fine comeback for their fourth straight PRO12 win.
It was a disappointing finish for departing backs Gavin Duffy, Dan Parks, Frank Murphy and Eoin Griffin, who made their final home appearances for Connacht.
Matt Healy's converted try, set up by Connacht Players' Player of the Year Kieran Marmion, was the difference between the sides at half-time as the hosts led 10-3.
Robbie Henshaw's 45th-minute try widened the margin to 12 points, but two tries in the space of three minutes - the penalty try and an opportunist 59th minute effort from Jones - completely changed the complexion of the game.
Gareth Davies added both conversion to edge the Blues in front and Fish was fed for the final try after Connacht lock Aly Muldowney was sin-binned.
Cardiff threatened in loose play early on with Alex Cuthbert and Josh Navidi standing out, and the visitors' Gethin Jenkins-led scrum also laid down a marker.
Connacht continued to improve and Miah Nikora got them off the mark in the 22nd minute, before they used scrum possession to set up Healy's try four minutes later.
Eoin McKeon linked with scrum half Marmion who drew in a couple of defenders and his well-weighted grubber kick in behind bounced up for winger Healy to run in his fifth try of the league campaign.
Nikora added the conversion and the province's captain John Muldoon almost crashed over from a quick tap - instead, he was whistled up for a double movement.
Connacht resumed in fine fettle, prop Rodney Ah You nearly plunging over for an early second-half try after an excellent high catch by Leader.
Cardiff were unable to hold the hosts at bay as a well-timed pick and go from Henshaw at a close-in ruck saw Connacht move 15-3 clear.
The Welshmen refused to panic, using their forward power to get them back into scoring range and a penalty try - awarded as Jenkins continued to dominate Ah You in the scrum - was converted by Davies.
Indeed, Connacht endured a disastrous three-minute spell as a bouncing ball evaded the retreating Denis Buckley and Cardiff hacked through for replacement scrum half Jones to dot down.
Davies' conversion put the visitors in front for the first time at 17-15 and Connacht, with Parks and Duffy now on the pitch, needed a lift heading into the final quarter.
But their hopes crumbled as Muldowney saw yellow for pulling down a maul and after a smashing drive from the Blues pack, the ball was spread wide for full-back Fish to score.
The tiring Connacht team had a second forward carded six minutes later, as number eight McKeon walked for a tip tackle.
Replacement Simon Humberstone missed the conversion and was also off target with a late penalty, but it was not needed as Cardiff celebrated their first Irish victory since overcoming Munster in Cork in January 2013.Rugby Union Live. Click here to bet.
Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com