Nigel Carolan’s Connacht Eagles side put in a polished performance at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon to defeat Russian side Enisei STM on a 54-21 scoreline.
There were some great breakaway tries throughout and the opening half saw hooker Jack Dineen, centre Conor Finn (2) and winger Danie Poolman all getting over the line.
Out-half Miah Nikora converted all four scores to make it 28-0 at half-time in Galway.
The fast pace of the game continued in the second half and second row Daniel Qualter was the first to cross for a try after he intercepted an Enisei pass on the halfway line and ran in untouched. Replacement out-half Jack Carty slotted the conversion.
Carty was up to the kicking tee shortlywards after when Poolman got over for his second try of the day.
And two minutes later, there were more celebrations when Galwegians centre Jerome Harimate dotted down. Carty converted one of the two tries to make it 47-0 after 50 minutes.
Enisei regrouped and some hard work on the Eagles’ line paid off when they got over after a number of pick and drives.
Flanker Willie Faloon – in his first game back in over six months – left the pitch to great applause after a gritty performance which would have pleased the coaching staff.
Academy scrum half Caolin Blade got in for the last of the Eagles’ eight tries on the hour mark which Carty converted.
The Russian opposition did not give up and in the last 12 minutes scored two tries to reduce the deficit.
CONNACHT EAGLES: Shane Layden; Niyi Adeolokun, Jerome Harimate, Conor Finn, Danie Poolman; Miah Nikora, Caolin Blade; Ronan Loughney, Jack Dineen, Nathan White, George Naoupu, Daniel Qualter, Conor Gilsenan, Willie Faloon, Mata Fifita.
Replacements: Peter Reilly, Finlay Bealham, JP Cooney, Ultan Dillane, Cian Romaine, Mark Dolan, Jack Carty, Rory Parata, Ciarán Gaffney.