Cardiff keep Con­nacht at bay in hel­ter-skel­ter en­counter

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS -

It was hel­ter-skel­ter and of­ten messy, but in the end Cardiff took the hon­ours, leapfrog­ging Con­nacht in the ta­ble last night in Arms Park.

Con­nacht scored more tries, four to Cardiff’s three, but the home side edged the con­test by virtue of a flaw­less kick­ing per­for­mance from out­half Jar­rod Evans and re­place­ment Gareth An­scombe, kick­ing 21 of their 36 points.

It means the two sides have ex­changed places on the ta­ble, Cardiff tak­ing over the qual­i­fi­ca­tion spot with Con­nacht now one be­hind.

Con­nacht were re­warded for a pe­riod of phase play when Jack Carty struck an open­ing penalty af­ter 13 min­utes, thanks of a su­pe­rior scrum.

Cardiff replied al­most im­me­di­ately through out­half Jar­rod Evans, and four min­utes later open­side Ol­lie Robin­son got the open­ing try af­ter some slick han­dling down the left wing, Evans adding the con­ver­sion for a 10-3 lead.

Evans soon ex­tended the lead via a penalty to 13 - 3.

Niyi Adeookun’s in­ter­cept try, rac­ing 40 me­tres to touch down, and Carty’s con­ver­sion re­duced the ar­rears to 13-10 af­ter 31 min­utes. and two min­utes later the lat­ter added an equal­is­ing penalty.

Evans main­tained his per­fect kick­ing record, edg­ing the home side into a 16-13 lead.

When Eoin Grif­fin was yel­low-carded Cardiff took im­me­di­ate ad­van­tage of the ex­tra man, full­back Matthew Mor­gan find­ing the gap to touch down, and but for Nick Wil­liams be­ing pe­nalised for block­ing af­ter re­view by TMO, Cardiff looked to have bagged a sec­ond through An­scombe.

Con­nacht again re­gained the ini­tia­tive, and from a li­ne­out and maul, re­place­ment hooker Shane De­lahunt touched down, Carty’s touch­line con­ver­sion just short. But the home side pulled away again as Owen Lane wrig­gled out of a tackle and over the line from an An­scombe break, the out­half’s con­ver­sion looked to have put the game be­yond reach as they led 30-18.

De­lahunt touched down to re­duce the deficit to seven but Cardiff added a penalty be­fore John Mul­doon got the vis­i­tors’ fourth try. One last play saw An­scombe kick a 40m penalty.

Con­nacht’s Niyi Ade­olokun runs in his side’s first try against Cardiff last night

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