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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 18:47 GMT 19:47 UK
Connacht maintain record
Steph Nel's Connacht beat Newport to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Celtic League
Steph Nel's side won their fourth consecutive game
Celtic League - Pool B
Connacht 18-12 Newport

Connacht maintained their 100 per cent Celtic League record at the expense of struggling Newport in Galway on Friday.

Connacht prevailed in a poor game which only came to life in the final 10 minutes as the Welsh side tried desperately to notch their first win in the season.

The Irish province's tally of two tries - one in each half - merited this victory as Newport looked for long periods like a team lacking in confidence.

They certainly made life difficult for the home side in the scrum, but they rarely troubled the committed Connacht cover.

First try

Connacht went into half-time just two points ahead despite dominating for lengthy periods.

Eric Elwood missed his first kick of the Celtic League with a 13th minute penalty chance.

Connacht's reward came after 16 minutes when full-back James Norton scored his first try of the campaign.

The debutant side-stepped the defence and raced in for a worthy try.

Elwood missed the conversion, but he made amends with a 22nd minute penalty to stretch the lead to 8-0 after Newport offended in the ruck.

More enterprising

Newport were forced to rely on Shane Howarth who closed the arrears with two of three penalty attempts late in the half.

But once again it was the home side who were more enterprising in attack.

Captain Tim Allnut had made the hard yards before Elwood's double skip pass found left-wing Wayne Munn.

He injected the necessary pace to race in after 46 minutes, with Elwood adding the conversion.

Newport, unable to penetrate Connacht, had to rely on Howarth's boot, and he kicked them back into contention with two penalties to close the gap to 15-12.

Connacht ensured their victory when Elwood scored a simple penalty in front of the posts.


Connacht: Norton; Robinson, Yapp, T Allnut, Munn; Elwood, Keane; McFarland, Flannery, Bracken, Waugh, Frost, Swift, Rigney, O'Sullivan.

Newport: Pini; Mostyn, Marinos, Williams, Cadwallader; Howarth, Tonu'u; Snow, Young, Anthony, Veater, Raiwalui, Popham, A Powell, Gravell.

Referee: Roy Maybank (RFU)


The final

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