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Connacht undone by Cardiff side on the rebound

Connacht undone by Cardiff side on the rebound

Connacht caught the backlash from Cardiff’s poor performance last week in going down 31-6 to a determined Cardiff side.

Some times it just all comes together and some times it really doesn’t. Nothing went right for Connacht tonight as they succumbed to a determined Cardiff at the Arms Park conceding three late tries to ship a bonus point. That crowned a frustrating night for Connacht.

Cardiff were on top throughout and showed unbreakable determination as they rid themselves of the memory of last weeks 39-3 hammering by the Ospreys and as was the case last week against Ulster, Connacht were on the receiving end of the backlash.

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Despite all this midway through the second half the gap was just eight points after Paul Warwick had kicked his second penalty of the night. That score had resulted from a turnover by John O’Sullivan and a half break from Mark McHugh. It had been the first time in the half and arguably the match that Connacht had threatened, yet for a brief period one sensed a turn in fortunes.

Up to that point Cardiff had only one Tom Shanklin try and three penalties to show for their dominance and in truth they had laboured when in Connacht 22 and wasted chances. Over the course of the night their young out half Nick Macleod had kicked just 4 from 9. Chances went a begging everywhere.

Warwick’s penalty 18 minutes into the second half appeared to have set us up for a rally in the closing stages but all hope faded on 24 minutes when Cardiff captain Martyn Williams found a gap at the fringe and slipped through with ease he offloaded to Rhys Williams who scored under the post.

Two more tries in the final ten minutes from Craig Morgan and Dean Dewdney earned Cardiff a bonus point which Connacht will rue in the coming days. A frustrating evening but in a 30-32 games season teams will have days when it just doesn’t come right, the true test will be how they react to it. Borders at the Sportsground on Saturday will provide the answer.

Connacht: David Slemen; Niall O’Brien, Matt Mostyn, Mark McHugh, Conor McPhillips, Paul Warwick, Tom Tierney; Dan McFarland, Bernard Jackman, Peter Bracken, Pieter Myburgh, Andrew Farley, Paul Neville, Matt Lacey, John O’Sullivan.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Adrian Clarke, Michael Carroll, Michael Swift, Eric Elwood, Conor O’Loughlin, Ted Robinson.

Cardiff: Rhys Williams; Nick Walne, Tom Shanklin, Tristan Davies, Craig Morgan; Nick Macleod, Dean Dewdney; Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Williams, Martin Jones, Deiniol Jones, Robert Sidoli, Nathan Thomas, Kort Schubert, Martyn Williams, capt

Replacements: Ken Fourie, Andrew Lewis, Heino Senekal, Robin Sowden-Taylor, Richard Smith, Lee Thomas, Jonny Vaughton

Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)