Connacht bag bonus points, but leave win behind them

Connacht left behind them a golden opportunity to post a win against current  champions Glasgow, but yet managed to salvage two valuable points away from home in this 33-32 Pro 12 fixture.

Trailing 23-6 at the break, Connacht came within a whisker of taking the spoils in Glasgow for the first time since 2010, but in the end, despite outscoring their hosts by four tries to three, had to be satisfied with losing and four-try bonus points.

It could be said Connacht did not get the rub of the green early on, including a quick-thinking Danie Poolman try which the referee denied "in the spirit of the game" after Glasgow winger Junior Bulumakau threw in the ball from touch expecting a line-out.  Nor did the scrum appear to go Connacht's way despite early domination in the set piece, which resulted in Jack Carty's seventh minute penalty to open the scoring.

While it allowed Glasgow to post three ensuring penalties by the 26th minute, Connacht will look to the loss of their defensive shape and composure on which the hosts capitalised. The first try came after fullback Glen Bryce went through a hole in the cover after 30 minutes, which Clegg converted, and before the break the concession of a penalty led to try number two - with debutant second  row Scott Cummings scoring and Clegg converting. 

A Carty penalty before the break saw Pat Lam's men 23 - 6 behind, and it became considerably worse after the restart when Glasgow bagged their third try, not helped by scrumhalf John Cooney losing his footing when trying to clear the ball. Flanker Rob Harley was able to secure possession and race in from 20 metres. Clegg's conversion made it 30-6.

Thereafter Connacht's fortunes changed, initiated by a super scrum against the head.  Eoghan Masterson burst into the 22 and found the supporting John Cooney, who touched down in the corner, and Carty stuck the difficult conversion. And the Connacht scrum once again proved its superiority when referee Ian Davies awarded a penalty try, with Carty again adding the extras.

Within two minutes, Connacht, with all the momentum, bagged a third try with Poolman touching down, and they looked to have kept the Warriors from scoring with some desperate defence on the line. However, the concession of a scrum penalty proved crucial, allowing the hosts to extend their lead to eight.

With time running out, Connacht continued to put the home side under pressure and threw everything at them.  Eventually the reward came when Nepia Fox-Matamua, for a  second week, touched down from a rolling maul.  Carty’s conversion from the right wing brought them as close as they could.

Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce; J Bulumakau, P Murchie, F Lyle, L Jones; R Clegg, M Blair; A Allan, P MacArthur, M Cusack, S Cummings, K Low, R Harley, C Fusaro, A Ashe.Replacements: S Wight for Bulumakau (40 ), H Blake for Murchie (15 ), Z Fagerson for Cusack, P MacArthur for Bryce, J Yanuyanutawa for Allan (all 48 ), T Holmes for Fusaro (52, G Hart for Blair (67 ).

Connacht: T O’Halloran; D Poolman, R Parata, B Aki, M Healy; J Carty, J Cooney; D Buckley, T McCartney, R Ah You, Q Roux, A Browne, J Muldoon, N Fox-Matamua, E Masterton. Replacements: K Marmion for Cooney (48 ), B Marshall for Roux (50 ), F Bealham for Ah You (64 ), S O’Leary for Parata (72 ), C Ronaldson for O’Halloran (78 ).

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU )

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