Sloppy start by Connacht proves costly

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Treviso ground out their third away victory in this season’s RaboDirect PRO12, frustrating Connacht 15-13 in a wet and windy Galway.

The home side gave the Italians a 15-0 head start. Against the run of play, Willem de Waal punished the hosts for a lineout infringement and some electric interplay between the fast-breaking Ludovico Nitoglia and Brendan Williams then netted the game’s first try as the latter touched down.

The Italians then took advantage of a hesitant Connacht back-line to pick off their second try. The ball was hacked on twice before young winger Tommaso Iannone won the foot race to touch down in the corner. De Waal added the conversion to put the Italians firmly in command.

However, a terrific individual effort from David McSharry closed the deficit to eight points by half-time, taking advantage of Fabio Semenzato’s sin-binning. Niall O’Connor converted.

O’Connor landed two second-half penalties while Manoa Vosawai was yellow carded, but knock-ons and turnovers blighted Connacht’s attempts to stave off their eighth successive defeat.

A late opportunity was spurned when John Muldoon’s surging run came to nothing, but Connacht did at least pick up a losing bonus point.