GUINNESS PRO12: Connacht boost play-off hope after beating leaders Scarlets

Connacht's Eoghan Masterson celebrates a Denis Buckley try
Connacht's Eoghan Masterson celebrates a Denis Buckley try

CONNACHT 30 SCARLETS 17

Connacht boosted their Guinness PRO12 play-off hopes with a 30-17 bonus-point win over the table-topping Scarlets at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.

Pat Lam’s men avenged their recent narrow loss in Llanelli with three tries off lineout mauls and a fourth from lively replacement Rodney Ah You’s direct run.

The hosts’ dominant scrum and maul provided the platform for a 13-0 interval lead, with flanker Jake Heenan crashing over twice.

Having opted to play into a strong wind during the first half, the Scarlets turned around with the elements in their favour and hit back with a 10-point blitz, including a DTH van der Merwe try.

But yellow cards for Phil John (scrum) and Tom Price (high tackle) in quick succession left the league leaders under all sorts of pressure, and tries from man-of-the-match Buckley and Ah You settled the issue.

Although Gareth Owen responded for the weakened Scarlets side, their late push for a losing bonus point went unrewarded.