Connacht battle past Treviso
September 3, 2011
Connacht head coach Eric Elwood saw his side kick off their season with a fine win in Italy
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Connacht showed impressive grit and determination in withstanding a late Treviso rally to open their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with commendable 11-9 victory at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo on Saturday afternoon.
Willem De Waal opened the scoring of a fiercely contested encounter just seven minutes in but Connacht drew level through new signing Matthew Jarvis before another new arrival, New Zealander Rodney Ah You, forced his way over just before the interval to mark his debut with a try.
Jarvis failed to convert but he made amends by landing a penalty on 56 minutes to put 8 points between the sides. Treviso finished the stronger of the two and drew to within a single score of victory thanks to a brace of penalties from De Waal but Connacht held firm to claim four points from one of the trickiest away trips in the PRO12.
Treviso, whose squad has been disrupted with several World Cup call-ups, started brightly and twice came close to scoring the opening try and took a deserved lead courtesy of a De Waal penalty after eight minutes. The South African stand-off then had the opportunity to double the hosts' advantage but missed what seemed an easy penalty.
The miss from de Waal seemed to galvanise Connacht, who were level after 28 minutes when Matthew Jarvis scored a penalty of his own. The visitors then edged in front thanks to Ah You's try, with the Kiwi prop going over after some good work by lock Michael Stewart. The one downside for the visitors was that Jarvis missed the conversion, meaning their lead was just 8-3 at the interval.
An attritional second half lacked clear-cut opportunities but Jarvis' second penalty after 56 minutes put Connacht further ahead and they stood firm to kick off their season on a high.
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