Injury-hit Connacht men come home with nothing against in-form OspreysOctober 30, 2012 - 8:00am
CONNACHT lost for the fifth time in seven RaboDirect Pro12 outings at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and remain tenth in the standings after a comprehensive four try defeat.
Missing key front-line components such as Mike McCarthy and Gavin Duffy, Connacht were always going to have their work cut out with a full restructure of the backline required after Eoin Griffin and Dave McSharry were forced out.
The were also unfortunate to come up against an Ospreys side in a rich vein of form in this competition as this bonus point win marked their fourth success on the bounce.
The game itself wasn't put out of Connacht's reach until the second minute of the second half when Dan Park's long pass was intercepted by Jonathan Thomas 30 metres out, leading to the flanker coasting home for a 13 point lead.
Ospreys had their missing men as well with forwards Adam Jones and Ryan Jones but have a strength in depth not applicable in Connacht. They dominated their early exchanges, but Connacht's defence was resilient and defiant in those opening exchanges.
Eventually, the pressure told, however, as the region spread the ball with fullback Richard Fussell putting over Eli Walker for the opening try. Biggar converted to make it 7-0 after 15 minutes.
Biggar's influence was as always key. He's just got a deserved call up to the Welsh squad and he marked it with good display here. As did try scorer Walker.
Connacht got on the score sheet on the half hour mark with Darragh Leader's fine break on his debut at full back setting up a penalty chance for Parks to slot. He had a second soon after to make it 7-6.
The loss of George Naoupu to injury in that first half was a blow in terms of this game and a concern in terms of the month ahead. Dave Gannon replaced him before the break.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.