GUINNESS PRO12: Connacht blow Munster away

Connacht's Finlay Balham scores a try
Connacht's Finlay Balham scores a try


Connacht completed their first-ever season’s double over Munster with a brilliant 35-14 Guinness Pro12 bonus-point win at the Sportsground.

A week on from their exit from Europe, Pat Lam’s second-placed side are now on the cusp of a home league semi-final, while Munster, who face a fight for Champions Cup qualification, lie a distant seventh.

The visitors were in clinical form early on as tries from Simon Zebo and Mike Sherry opened up a 14-6 lead, but yellow cards for James Cronin and Billy Holland were ruthlessly punished by Connacht nearing half-time.

Niyi Adeolokun darted clear to make it a one-point game and with Holland seeing yellow for not rolling away close to his try-line, the Munster scrum crumpled for a penalty try and a 20-14 turnaround.

The westerners ended up scoring 29 points without reply, Adeolokun completing his brace and recent Ireland debutant Finlay Bealham nabbing his first senior try for the province. An injury-time penalty from Shane O’Leary topped off his 15-point contribution.

The only concerns for Connacht coming out of this derby success were second-half injuries picked up by man-of-the-match Bundee Aki (knee) and Bealham (jaw).