Comeback win for Connacht
Replacements spark rally from Irish side
Last Updated: 23/09/11 9:50pm
Gavin Duffy: match-winning try
Eoin Griffin and Gavin Duffy scored second-half tries as Connacht battled back from a 13-3 half-time deficit to beat Newport Gwent Dragons 17-13.
Nathan Williams' first try for the Dragons helped put the visitors on top at the break.
Jason Tovey kicked two of his four penalty attempts, while Niall O'Connor's right boot was responsible for Connacht's only points until Griffin touched down coming up to the hour.
The converted try lifted Eric Elwood's men and with Matthew Jarvis adding the extras to Duffy's touchdown, the four-point margin was enough.
Tovey watched his first penalty attempt bounce back off a post, but from a similar position he gave the Dragons a seventh-minute lead.
In wet conditions, O'Connor levelled for Connacht with a well-struck penalty from distance and Ray Ofisa and Henry Fa'afili began to wield some influence in the loose.
O'Connor was off target from a central penalty, and both sides struggled to build momentum in attack.
With the wind proving a factor, O'Connor turned down a kickable penalty in the 23rd minute and some good approach work was foiled by an accidental offside.
The Dragons were patient and struck impressively for a 30th minute try. Matthew Pewtner popped up in the middle on an angled run that took him past Ethienne Reynecke, and the pressure eventually told as prop Williams crashed over.
Tovey converted and added a penalty after his initial break, with Connacht finding themselves 13-3 adrift - it would have been worse had the young out-half not miscued a late shot at the posts.
The second half was initially a stop-start affair, with Brian Tuohy the most threatening of the home backs as they tried to hit back at the Welshmen.
But replacement half-backs Paul O'Donohoe and Jarvis set the Connacht attack in motion, terrific hands down the short side seeing Griffin link with Tiernan O'Halloran and gather the return pass to score in the corner.
Jarvis followed up with a brilliant touchline conversion to close the gap down to three points, and with the 3,706-strong crowd raising the decibel level Connacht grabbed a crucial second try.
Duffy sniped through with ball in hand and after good continuity from the forwards, O'Halloran's inviting pass put his captain diving over in the corner, with Jarvis adding the extras from the left touchline.
Sun 12th Apr
Dragons25 - 22Leinster
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh0 - 0Zebre
Ulster0 - 0Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Munster0 - 0Treviso
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Ospreys
Dragons0 - 0Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets