Connacht reel in Scarlets, Edinburgh lose ground


Connacht claimed a bonus-point 30-17 victory over the Scarlets on Saturday to move level with the Welsh region at the Pro12 summit.

The Irish province headed into the weekend five points adrift of their visitors but ended a run of four straight defeats to go second.

Jake Heenan scored two tries as Connacht moved into 13-0 half-time lead, but the Scarlets reduced the deficit to three points early in the second period - DTH van der Merwe going over for Wayne Pivac's men.

However, Denis Buckley powered over after the Scarlets had two men sent to the sin bin, before Rodney Ah You wrapped up maximum points.

Gareth Owen crossed for a late consolation for the Scarlets, who were boosted by a first appearance for Liam Williams since injuring his foot at the Rugby World Cup.

Edinburgh could have jumped above both into top spot by beating Cardiff Blues later in the day, but were defeated 10-3 in a match that saw no points scored after the interval.

Dan Fish's try after 90 seconds proved the difference, lifting the Blues to eighth.

Following Leinster's defeat to the Dragons on Friday, just a point separates the Pro12's top three.

Ulster are now level on points with Edinburgh following a 32-13 win at Benetton Treviso, who have now lost 26 matches in a row.

In the day's remaining fixture, Munster edged a 16-12 win at Zebre.