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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tuculet's late show cruel blow for Westerners

Cardiff Blues broke brave Connacht hearts with a Joaquin Truculet try converted by Rhys Patchell seven minutes into added-on time at The Arms Park late last night.

A steepling kick by Craig Ronaldson was spilled by Rhys Patchell and Tiernan O'Halloran was Johnny-on-the-spot to gather in what looked like an early try until the TMO intervened.

He wasn't required from the following lineout when a trundling maul crossed for flanker Jake Heenan to claim the try, converted by Ronaldson, in the seventh minute.

An extended period of ball-in-play ended with a lineout to Connacht and a subsequent maul that caused a penalty for Ronaldson which was countered by a Patchell penalty in the 25th minute.

The half concluded with Connacht's scrum dominant. They did everything except score to hold a 10-3 lead that could have been even wider.

The home side came out renewed, Connacht just about surviving Gavin Evans obstruction on Dave McSharry after a torrid ten minutes of total commitment to defence.

Their good work was undone when they refused to take heed of Cuthbert's threat, the Wales wing putting Cardiff back on the front-foot for left wing Tuculet to make it 10-8 near the hour.

It went from bad to worse when Patchell kicked Cardiff ahead for the first time in the 65th minute.

But Connacht are made of different mettle these days. They oiled their phase game for lock Aly Muldowney to crash over near the posts and Ronaldson's extras to made it 17-11 in the 72nd minute.

Connacht defended heoircally before Tuculet's breakthrough.

cardiff 18 connacht 17

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