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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Borders 15-29 Connacht
Borders v Connacht

Borders 15 (9)
Pens: MacRae 3, MacDougall 2.

Connacht 29 (6)
Tries: Williams, Warwick.
Cons: McHugh 2.
Pens: McHugh 4.
DG: Warwick.

New-look Borders made a dreadful start to their Magners League campaign as they were outgunned by the weakest of the Irish provinces at Netherdale.

Borders led 9-6 at half-time with Calum MacRae having landed three penalties for the home side and Mark McHugh successful with two Connacht kicks.

However, Connacht went ahead after the interval helped by Gavin Williams' try.

Two Ben MacDougall penalties kept Borders in touch but Paul Warwick's late try ensured Connacht's victory.

Both sides showed signs of early-season rustiness with mistakes galore being made in the disjointed opening exchanges.

Reivers broke the deadlock after just two minutes with a penalty by MacRae - and he doubled the tally six minutes later as the Irishmen were guilty of illegal handling in a ruck.

However, Connacht battled their way back into the contest with two penalties of their own in quick succession by McHugh.

Borders had the better of things in the build up to the interval, but all they could earn for their efforts was another kick from MacRae.

Connacht looked the hungrier outfit after the restart and they seized the initiative with a try.

Williams took advantage of marking indecision to dart in under the crossbar, giving McHugh a simple task to convert.

MacDougall replied with Borders' fourth penalty after an offside infringement only for McHugh to follow suit at the other end.

The penalty ping-pong continued with further traded kicks but Connacht sealed it with Warwick's drop-goal and try, which was converted by McHugh.


Borders: C MacRae, S Danielli, B MacDougall, G Law, N De Luca, G Townsend, C Cusiter (capt), G Kerr, R Ford, B Douglas, C Hamilton, S Grimes, K Brown, S Gray, R Beattie.
Replacements:S Scott for Ford 63, E Kalman for Kerr 49, O Palepoi for Hamilton 47, J Dalziel for Beattie 70, A Miller for Gray 47, S Jones for Townsend 68. Not used: B McKerchar,

Connacht: M Mostyn; C McPhillips, P Warwick, G Williams, D Yapp; M McHugh, C Keane; B Wilkinson, A Flavin, S Knoop; D Gannon, A Farley; J Muldoon, M Lacey, C Rigney.
Replacement: J Fogarty for Flavin 67. Not used: M Diffley, M Swift, B O'Connor, T Tierney, K Matthews, D Riordan.

Att: 1,293

Ref: Tim Hayes (WRFU).

CELTIC RUGBY

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