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Match Tracker: Connacht 15 Llanelli 37

Match Tracker: Connacht 15 Llanelli 37

Tries from Darren Daniel, Simon Easterby and Regan King (2) helped the Scarlets to win in Ireland for the first time since February of last year.

…The Sportsground…

Tries from Darren Daniel, Simon Easterby and Regan King (2) helped the Scarlets to win in Ireland for the first time since February of last year.

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MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, September 15

CONNACHT 15 LLANELLI 37, The Sportsground (Att: 1,765)

Scorers: Connacht: Tries: Matt Mostyn, Mark McHugh; Con: McHugh; Pen: McHugh

Llanelli: Tries: Darren Daniel, Simon Easterby, Regan King 2; Cons: Stephen Jones 4; Pen: Jones 3

Full-Time: Connacht 15 Llanelli 37 – Llanelli have gone top of the Magners League table thanks to Ulster’s defeat in Edinburgh. Tonight was certainly a set back for Connacht, who will look to regroup against Edinburgh next Friday

78 mins: A seemingly inevitable fourth try for the Scarlets follows with New Zealander King getting his second on a night to forget for the Connacht men. King, Peel and number eight Alix Popham, who were all brought on by Phil Davies, had key roles to play as Llanelli kept Connacht at arm’s length. Jones strikes over the conversion for a perfect kicking return of seven from seven. Connacht’s winning start to the season is at an end – Connacht 15 Llanelli 37

60 mins: Llanelli have sprung Regan King and Dwayne Peel from the bench and it pays dividends. Try number three follows with King getting the touchdown. Jones easily converts. Is the bonus point on for the Welsh region? – Connacht 15 Llanelli 30

52 mins: Connacht try and it’s straight out of nothing. Out-half McHugh intercepts Jones in his 22 and races in under the posts. The once-capped Ireland international converts his own try – Connacht 15 Llanelli 23

47 mins: Jones pings over his third penalty of the evening to give the Scarlets the perfect start the second half – Connacht 8 Llanelli 23

Half-Time: Connacht 8 Llanelli 20 – The Scarlets have turned their territorial advantage into points. It is a wide open, expansive game but there has been little in the way of attacking momentum for Connacht. It was one-way traffic towards the home line at one stage. The crowd are certainly enjoying it though, the sun is beating down on the Galway venue

40+3 mins: Bit of a lifeline for Connacht for the second half as McHugh converts a penalty from 30 metres-plus – Connacht 8 Llanelli 20

40 mins: Plenty of forward grunt from the Scarets sees the Connacht defence stretched and the visitors’ skipper Simon Easterby, the Ireland flanker, gets over for a well-deserved try. The ever accurate Jones stabs over the extras – Connacht 5 Llanelli 20

23 mins: Jones lands his second penalty push Llanelli eight points ahead – Connacht 5 Llanelli 13

10 mins: Young winger Darren Daniel is on fire at the moment. He gets in for his fifth try of the Magners League as an overlap sees him get in at the corner at the College Road end. Jones lines up the conversion, just inches in on the stand side, and drills it over in magnificent fashion – Connacht 5 Llanelli 10

8 mins: Good hands from McHugh and Conor McPhillips, who goes on a 20-metre dart, put full-back Matt Mostyn in for a try in the right corner. McHugh misses the conversion – Connacht 5 Llanelli 3

6 mins: Connacht’s Mark McHugh, their stand-in captain in John Fogarty’s absence, misses a 25 metres penalty shot at the posts

3 minutes: Hands in the ruck from Connacht allow Wales out-half Stephen Jones to boot the Scarlets in front from a penalty – Connacht 0 Llanelli 3

Team News: Connacht are unchanged from last week’s 15-10 win over the Ospreys.

There is one alteration on the replacements bench with John Hearty replacing thigh injury victim Darren Yapp. With Ireland squad call-up John Fogarty remaining on the bench, top-scoring out-half Mark McHugh will captain the province again.

Llanelli, for the second game running, have named a side showing five changes to the previous starting line-up. There are also two positional changes with captain and Ireland flanker Simon Easterby moving to openside to allow James Bater a start on the blindside, while Matthew Watkins moves back to his preferred position of centre as Dafydd James returns to the left wing.

Elsewhere, Dwayne Peel is rested as Clive Stuart-Smith gets a run-out at scrum half while Phil John replaces Iestyn Thomas at loosehead prop and Adam Jones takes over from Lou Reed in the second row. Nathan Thomas comes in for Alix Popham at number eight.

There is also a return to the matchday 22 for Wales winger Mark Jones.

Connacht: Matt Mostyn; Conor McPhillips, Paul Warwick, Gavin Williams, Keith Matthews; Mark McHugh (capt), Chris Keane; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Stephen Knoop, David Gannon, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Michael Diffley, Michael Swift, Brendan O’Connor, Tom Tierney, John Hearty, Daniel Riordan.

Llanelli: Ceiron Thomas; Darren Daniel, Matthew Watkins, Gavin Evans, Dafydd James; Stephen Jones, Clive Stuart-Smith; Phil John, Matthew Rees, Deacon Manu, Adam Jones, Scott Macleod, James Bater, Simon Easterby (capt), Nathan Thomas.

Replacements: Iestyn Thomas, Ken Owens, Inoke Afeaki, Alix Popham, Dwayne Peel, Mark Jones, Regan King.

Referee: Graeme Hannah (Scotland)
Touch Judges: Peter Fitzgibbon, Mark Hermin (both Ireland)