Bonus-point win sends Connacht top


Connacht moved top of Pro12 as a 26-21 bonus-point victory at Newport Gwent Dragons saw the Irish side win away for the first time this season on Thursday.

After a back-and-forth first half, Connacht - who won September's reverse fixture 29-23 - trailed by one point as they saw tries from Matt Healy and Tiernan O'Halloran answered by Adam Hughes and Ashton Hewitt.

However, the Dragons - who narrowly lost to high-flying Ulster last weekend - were undone by two tries in the space of three second-half minutes from Eoghan Masterson and Bundee Aki as Connacht left Wales with maximum points.

Jason Tovey's penalty put Dragons on the scoreboard first, but Connacht had the first try in the 13th minute when winger Healy was set free by John Muldoon after good work at the line-out.

Newport hit back quickly and Hughes touched down after Tovey charged Caolin Blade's kick, but the conversion was missed and Connacht had a second try when more good work from the forwards led to O'Halloran crossing the whitewash.

Dragons hit back again and Hewitt scored the hosts' second try thanks to a brilliant offload from Elliot Dee and they led 15-14 at the break.

Two Angus O'Brien penalties stretched the Dragons' lead to seven points, but the match turned on its head when Masterson grounded following a huge Connacht maul in the 65th minute, but the missed conversion left them trailing by two.

The Irish side were in front by the 68th minute, though, as Aki touched down under the posts for the bonus point, and Connacht held firm against sustained Dragons pressure in the closing stages.