Connacht produced a fine performance to complete their pre-season campaign with an encouraging win at the Sportsground on Tuesday evening.
Connacht were particularly impressive in the opening half when they ran the ball with confidence and were well worth their 24-0 interval lead. They were watched by members of the Ireland caoching team including head coach Declan Kidney, Forwards Coach Gert Smal and Defence Coach Les Kiss.
Queensland stepped up their challenge when they had the wind at their backs in the second-half but Connacht defended stoutly until the final moments when they conceded two late tries.
The pace of the Connacht backline was noteworthy in the opening half and left-winger Mike Roberts crossed for two tries either side of an effort from full-back Fionn Carr, who ran from just infront of his own posts after a bone-crunching John Muldoon tackle ended a promising Reds’ attack.
There was much to admire about this Connacht performance although they will be far from happy with a messy finish which resulted in tries from Reds’ scrum-half Brendan McKibbin and No.8 Leroy Houston, the latter scoring when Connacht were reduced to thirteen after Colm Rigney and John Muldoon were yellow-carded for infringements in quick succession.
Tries: Roberts (2), Carr
Cons: Keatley (3)
Tries: McKibbin, Houston.
Connacht: F Carr; L Bibo, G Duffy, KMatthews, M Roberts; I Keatley, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, S Cronin, R Morris; MMcCarthy, A Farley; J Muldoon, R Ofisa, C Rigney.
Replacements: J Hearty for Roberts, 48mins; R Loughney for Wilkinson, 52 mins; M Swift for Farley, 53 mins; JO’Connor for McCarthy, 64 mins; F Murphy for Campbell, 67 mins; A Wynne forBibo, 67 mins.
Queensland Reds: R Davies; L Morahan, MTurinui, A Faingaa, A Toua; J Lance, B McKibbin; S Seimonek, J Hanson, JKennedy; V Humphries, R Simmons; S Higginbotham, P Luafutu, L Houston.
Replacements: A Byrnes for Simmons, 29mins; A Anae for Hanson, 52 mins; C Fetoai for Lance, 52 mins; Lance forMcKibbin, 60 mins; J Schatz for Higginbotham, 62 mins; J Harvey for Morahan, 62mins; McKibbin for Lance, 67 mins.
Referee: P Fitzgibbon (IRFU).