Connacht 11-3 Edinburgh
A late try from substitute hooker John Fogarty four minutes from time sealed
an opening-day victory in the Celtic League for Connacht over Edinburgh in
Fogarty, who joined Connacht from Munster this summer, touched down as the Irish province drove over the line in the closing stages.
Eric Elwood, who had earlier kicked two penalties to give Connacht a 6-0
half-time lead, missed the conversion but the late score was enough to consign
Edinburgh to defeat despite their second-half domination.
Connacht had a new coach in former Ireland captain and scrum-half Michael Bradley and a host of new faces in their squad with six players making their competitive debuts.
But it was old stager Elwood, beginning his 16th campaign in Connacht colours,
who made the difference in the opening half, sending over two penalties to give the home side a 6-0 half-time lead.
The interval saw Bradley make changes to his back division, with centre Darren
Yapp making way for Ted Robinson who moved onto the wing with Conor McPhilips
moving into midfield.
From the restart, however, Edinburgh began to put Connacht under pressure,
helped by a strong breeze in their favour.
Despite spending plenty of time in the Irish half, however, the Scots could
make no dent in the Connacht lead with substitute fly-half Ander Munro missing
two penalties. He did slot one over, though, to narrow the gap on the hour to
6-3, but Edinburgh could not break Connacht down.
And when full-back Mark McHugh kicked a penalty into the corner with four
minutes to go, the Scots could not hold a Connacht drive from the subsequent
line-out as all eight forwards crossed the line with Fogarty getting the final
Connacht: McHugh, McPhillips, Yapp, T. Allnut, Munn, Elwood,
Keane, O'Kelly, Jackman, Clarke, Browne, Farley, Swift,
Replacements: Fogarty, McFarland, McCarthy, Carroll, Hewitt,
Edinburgh: Lee, Philip, Joiner, Dickson, Sharman, Laney, Burns,
Smith, Kelly, Brannigan, Perrett, Kellock, Blackadder, Cross,
Replacements: D. Hall, Mathieson, Pike, A. Dall, Lawson, Monro,
Referee: Gareth Simmonds (Cardiff)