Connaught 20 Cardiff Blues 26
Connaught are the architects of their own downfall, as a sloppy second half display allows Cardiff to take the points back to Wales
Cardiff put the disappointment of last week's defeat to Welsh rivals Scarlets, coming from behind to claim a valuable victory at the Galway Showgrounds. The home side were quick out of the blocks here though, and had a try in the opening few minutes of the game, Tiernan O' Halloran diving over, after great play from Ah You. Cardiff responded well though, and Dan Parks brought them level after ten minutes, after a Connaught offside. All their hard work was immediately undone though, as Niall O' Connor replied with a penalty for the home side, after a high tackle from the visitors. The visitors had a number of chances to restore parity as the half went on, but failed to capitalise on any Connaught mistakes, and the home side went over again for another try on the half hour mark, after great work from the pack from a line-out saw Mike McCarthy touch the ball down. Just how Cardiff failed to register on the scoreboard again before the break is anyone's guess, as they had a whole host of chances, with Dan Parks having a nightmare with the kicking duties, leaving Connaught in the ascendancy at the interval. The away side came out a different team in the second period, and were over the line in the very first minute of the half. Poor concentration from the home side saw Casey Laulala dive over in the corner. Parks scored a confidence-boosting conversion, game on. The home side's poor start got even worse when Laulala again scored a try, after intercepting a wayward Connaught pass. They did level things up midway through the half when substitute Miah Nikora scored a penalty on his return from injury, but a Parks penalty, followed by a drop goal from the Scottish international, killed off the home side's threat. Cardiff managed to hold out for a much needed win, with Connaught surely kicking themselves after their second half display.