Pro14 Rainbow Cup: Connacht end with hard-fought home victory over Ospreys

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Shane Delahunt opened the scoring for Connacht with a try on his 100th appearance
Connacht (26) 26
Tries: Delahunt, Aki, Dillane, Sullivan Cons: Carty 3
Ospreys (19) 19
Tries: Morris, Parry 2 Cons: Myler 2

Connacht ended their Rainbow Cup campaign with a hard-fought 26-19 home victory over Ospreys in Galway.

Four tries in an exciting first half gave the hosts a 26-19 lead that paved the way for a victory that ended the Welsh side’s hopes of topping the league table.

Shane Delahunt, Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane and Peter Sullivan scored Connacht’s tries.

Sam Parry crossed twice for Ospreys and Morgan Morris also touched down.

The Welsh side went into Friday’s game knowing that a win would give them a chance of finishing top with victory over leaders Benetton in their final match next week.

However, the result at the Sportsground saw Andrew Friend’s side leapfrog their opponents into fourth place in the standings.

Delahunt opened the scoring with an eighth-minute try, converted by Jack Carty, before Morris crossed to hit back for the visitors five minutes later.

Connacht then stretched their lead again with two converted tries in six minutes from Aki and Dillane, and this time the Welsh response came from Parry.

Wing Sullivan touched down for Connacht before another converted Parry try in first-half injury time sent the sides in at half-time with Connacht leading 26-19.

There were no scores at all in a quiet second half that saw a number of substitutions from both sides.

The visitors were without British and Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones and South Africa-bound team-mate Justin Tipuric, who were rested for the trip by manager Toby Booth.

Connacht: Alex Wootton; Peter Sullivan, Bundee Aki, Tom Daly, Ben O’Donnell; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Jordan Duggan, Shane Delahunt, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Niall Murray, Ultan Dillane, Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (capt), Eoghan Masterson.

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Matthew Burke, Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, Sean Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Conor Fitzgerald, Sammy Arnold.

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Dewi Cross, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Joe Hawkins, Luke Morgan; Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb (capt), Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Will Griffiths, Morgan Morris, Ethan Roots.

Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Gareth Thomas, Ma’afu Fia, Rhys Davies, Sam Cross, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Luke Price, Max Nagy.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher, Rob O’Sullivan (IRFU)

TMO: Joy Neville (IRFU)



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