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Connacht warm up for Champions Cup double header with Wasps by thrashing Treviso


Substitute Jack Carty scored and converted Connacht's seventh and last try

Substitute Jack Carty scored and converted Connacht's seventh and last try

Substitute Jack Carty scored and converted Connacht's seventh and last try

Connacht warmed up for their Champions Cup double header with Wasps by thrashing Benetton Treviso 47-8 in the Guinness PRO12 at the Sportsground.

Hooker and man-of-the-match Tom McCartney bagged a brace of tries and late inclusion Danie Poolman, who replaced the injured Matt Healy, and Denis Buckley also touched down for a 28-3 half-time lead.

With their bonus point secured, the westerners added two more tries by the hour-mark from John Cooney and Quinn Roux, before replacements Vittorio Flammini and Jack Carty swapped scores in a scrappy final quarter.

Treviso, who suffered a 46-3 loss at Munster last week, hit the front in Galway thanks to a fourth-minute penalty from Ian McKinley, after Connacht flanker Jake Heenan had been dispossessed in a tackle.

Pat Lam's men improved as the first quarter progressed, Heenan being hauled down short before a kickable penalty was turned down and McCartney, from a standing start, drove over in the clinical fashion for a 13th-minute try.

Despite losing winger Cian Kelleher to the sin-bin for taking a player out in the air, Connacht pressed on and ended the first half with four tries - all converted by scrum-half Cooney. His new half-back partner, South African Marnitz Boshoff, also played well, kicking astutely down the line as the province's try-hunt gathered pace.

Poolman was next over the whitewash in the 25th minute, benefiting from a brilliant one-handed pass from blindside Nepia Fox-Matamua. Treviso were soon down to 14 men, their tighthead Simone Ferrari paying the price for persistent ruck infringements.

Connacht took full advantage with two seven-pointers before the break, McCartney going over from close range after a bout of pressure from the forwards and lovely hands from Kelleher. Cooney and Bundee Aki set up prop Buckley's 37th-minute score.

A clever training ground move from a lineout, involving Boshoff and Poolman, saw Cooney cross in the 49th minute and second row Roux rumbled over from a maul five minutes later.

Connacht's front row replacements ceded advantage in the scrum as Treviso got on top in successive set pieces, forcing a 66th-minute try. The scorer Flammini saw yellow for cynical play six minutes later.

Despite losing Boshoff to an arm injury, the hosts gave the 5,903 attendance a seventh and final try to cheer thanks to Carty's show-and-go effort which he converted himself.

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