Connacht’s great fightback maintains their winning run

Connacht 22

Ulster 20

By John Fallon at the Sportsground

CONNACHT coach Pete Wilkins said the manner in which they carved out a dramatic late win over Ulster win that takes them top of the URC table will serve them well as they now prepare for three tough away matches.

His team came from 17 points adrift early in the second-half to maintain their winning start to his reign as Connacht chalked up their third win in a row at the Sportsground.

But with a trip to Edinburgh this weekend to be followed by tough matches in South Africa against the Sharks and the Bulls, Wilkins knows tougher days lie ahead.

That’s made this win against a depleted Ulster side so important as Connacht  got their act together and secured victory in a performance that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

“We said to the lads, there are days when you play great rugby and are entertaining everyone and you earned the right to win in that way, and there are other days when you have to dig in and show a heck of a lot of character to come from behind, and that’s what we did,” said Wilkins.

“If we can do those things when they’re required, the lads will be a good match for anyone. I’m really proud of the lads, and I think we deserved the win, albeit in a different way to the previous weeks,” he added.

Ulster, with out-half Jake Flannery scoring 13 points, looked set to maintain their winning start despite a dozen changes from their win over the Bulls.

But Connacht managed to regroup and fought back with three tries in front of a crowd of 5,468 at the Galway venue.

Ulster lost full-back Will Addison to a hamstring injury in the warm-up which resulted in Ben Moxham coming onto the wing and Ethan McIlroy starting at full-back.

Pictured: Connacht’s Cathal Forde prepares to evade the challenge of Ulster’s Stewart Moore during Saturday’s URC clash at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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