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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 February, 2004, 19:10 GMT
Warriors 40-17 Connacht
MATCH DETAILS
Celtic Warriors winger Aisea Havili celebrates his try
Celtic Warriors (17) 40:
Tries: Bryant, Horsman, Powell, R Jones
Cons: N Jenkins (4)
Pens: N Jenkins (4)
Connacht (17) 17:
Tries: McPhillips, Hewitt
Cons: McHugh (2)
Pens: McHugh
Celtic Warriors inflicted Connacht's heaviest Celtic League defeat of the season in a bonus-point victory.

The two sides matched each other's efforts in the first half as two converted tries and a penalty put them level at 17-17 at the interval.

But the Warriors took full control after the break as they added a further two converted tries and two penalties.

Fly-half Neil Jenkins ended the match with 20 points, and has now kicked all of his last 20 attempts at goal.

Jenkins, the Celtic League's top points scorer, put the first points on the board with a fifth-minute penalty.

But Connacht stunned the home side with 17 unanswered points in a fruitful 10-minute spell.

Fly-half David Hewitt crossed for the first try when he had an easy run in under the posts after several surging runs had swallowed up the home defence.

And then winger Conor McPhillips benefited from Warriors mishandling to burst clear down the left flank. Hewitt kicked both conversions.

The Warriors, without nine internationals, needed a quick response and it arrived within nine minutes when a superb backs move released winger Aisea Havili to score.

Captain and centre Jon Bryant then completed the comeback when he forced his way through midfield after taking Jenkins' inside pass at pace.

We started poorly but I was very pleased with the way we came back
Warriors assistant coach Allan Lewis
The Warriors maintained their momentum after the break as they continued to dominate possession.

Jenkins landed a second penalty to give his side the lead and they soon stretched their advantage with a third try.

It was the forwards who did the damage this time as they combined effectively to drive prop Chris Horsman over the tryline.

Connacht struggled to win any meaningful possession and found themselves camped in their own half as the home side took full control.

The pressure led to Irish infringement and Jenkins took full advantage to add another six points to his tally and put the result beyond doubt.

That left some 10 minutes for the Warriors to find a fourth try to claim a bonus point - a task made easier following Ted Robinson's departure to the sin-bin.

And the try duly arrived when replacement Ryan Jones picked up from the base of a scrum and encountered little resistance on his 10-yard dart to the tryline.

Jenkins added the conversion to maintain his perfect record and wrap up a thoroughly satisfactory home win.


Warriors: Gareth Wyatt; Dafydd James, Shaun James, Jon Bryant (capt), Aisea Havili; Neil Jenkins, Sililo Martens; Christian Loader, Matthew Rees, Chris Horsman, Nick Kelly, Deiniol Jones, Maama Molitika, Corey Harris, Richard Parks.
Replacements: Christian Balshen, Geraint Morris, M Powell, Ryan Jones, Paul John, M Nutthall, M Jones.

Connacht: M Mostyn; T Robinson, D Yapp, M McHugh, C McPhillips; D Hewitt, C Keane; W O'Kelly, J Fogarty, A Clarke, M McCarthy, A Farley, M Swift, P Neville, J O'Sullivan.
Replacements: B Jackman, P Bracken, D Browne, T Carter, C O'Loughlin, E Elwood, T Allnutt.

Referee: Andrew Ireland (Scotland).




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