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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 21:37 GMT
Edinburgh 17-32 Connacht
CELTIC LEAGUE
Darren Yapp breaks free for Connacht's opening try
Edinburgh (7) 17:
Tries: Penalty, Jacobsen.
Cons: Warnock 2.
Pen: Warnock.
Connacht (17) 32:
Tries: Mostyn, Yapp, Moore, McPhillips.
Cons: Elwood 3.
Pens: Elwood 2.
Edinburgh once again paid the penalty for their lack of strength in depth as they were easily picked off by a vastly more experienced Connacht side.

With most of Edinburgh's top players off on international duty, the result never looked in question.

Tries from Darren Yapp, Matt Mostyn, Connor McPhillips and Shane Moore did the damage for the visitors, with Eric Elwood in good form with the boot.

Edinburgh replied with a penalty try and a touchdown from Allan Jacobsen.

The Irishmen, looking for revenge after their Celtic Cup semi-final defeat by the capital side, seized control during the opening stages and they deservedly broke the deadlock after seven minutes.

Yapp had McPhillips alongside him and the home markers took the wrong option by devoting all their attentions to the latter. Yapp took full advantage of their commitment by ignoring his colleague and scooting to the line on his own. Old stager Elwood added the goal points.

Rattled Edinburgh responded positively to tie the contest five minutes later. Hugo Southwell launched the move that ended in confusion. Winger Conan Sharman claimed the touchdown after scooping up his own chip-ahead.

But the referee ruled he had been obstructed in the chase and awarded a penalty try. While the decision robbed Sharman of the personal glory, it gave Ally Warnock a much easier conversion, which he lobbed over without fuss.

Connacht stepped up the pace and were well worth their half-time lead. Their second try came in the 26th minute and again Yapp was in the thick of it. He and Moore combined superbly to create the space and time for Mostyn to finish safely.

Elwood slotted the conversion and then thumped over a short-range penalty when the home pack handled in a ruck in their own 22.

Connacht looked hungry again after the restart and they effectively snuffed out the Edinburgh challenge by setting up another try in the 42nd minute.

Southwell's floated pass was plucked out of the air by John O'Sullivan who released McPhillips to complete the job.

Warnock clawed back a penalty for the struggling home side, but any lingering prospect of a fightback disappeared as Moore ploughed over to make sure of the bonus point for Connacht.

Jacobsen bagged a late consolation try for Edinburgh, converted by Warnock. But Elwood had the last word with another penalty.


Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell, Conan Sharman, Marcus Di Rollo, Matt Dey, Craig Joiner, Alistair Warnock, Graeme Burns (captain), Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Joel Brannigan, Nathan Pike, Alastair Kellock, Andrew Dall, Angus Martyn, Craig Harrison.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Craig Smith, Fergus Pringle, Ben Fisher, Rory Lawson, Ander Munro, Malcolm Clapperton

Connacht: M McHugh; M Mostyn, D Yapp, S Moore, C McPhillips; E Elwood, C O'Loughlin; D McFarland, B Jackman, A Clarke; D Browne, A Farley; J Muldoon, T Carter, J O'Sullivan.
Replacements: M Uijs, P Bracken, M McCarthy, P Neville, C Keane, D Hewitt, T Robinson.



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