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13 and counting for Connacht as Aironi win again

Aironi made it back-to-back home wins with a 20-6 win over Connacht at the Stadio Zaffanella thanks a 15 point-haul from Luciano Orquera to add to a Sinoti Sinoti second-half try.

The Italians came into the game with just two wins to their name in the RaboDirect PRO12 but had emerged victorious just before Christmas at home to Italian rivals Treviso.

A defeat to the same opposition the following week could have taken the wind out of their sails but Italy international Orquera ensured they were always in control against Connacht.

The Irish side had fallen to an encouraging 15-13 defeat at home to reigning European champions Leinster last time out but arrived in Italy severely depleted due to injuries.

And Aironi took full advantage to repeat their feats of last season when Connacht were their only league victims.

The defeat makes it 13 games in a row without a win for Eric Elwood’s men who now lie just three points clear of Aironi with Newport Gwent Dragons also struggling at the bottom.

The Italians made the perfect start as Orquera notched up an early penalty after just four minutes.

And the Argentine-born pivot was on target again seven minutes later to extend the home side’s lead to 6-0.

With his side missing a host of regular starters, including flanker Johnny O’Connor who broke three bones in his cheek last week, Connacht couldn’t afford to miss their chances, but Matthew Jarvis did just that on the quarter-hour with a penalty attempt.

Orquera extended the lead five minutes later as Connacht failed to break down their opposition, trailing 9-0 at the break.

Things got worse for the visitors immediately after the break as Sinoti crossed two minutes into the second half to extend the lead, Orquera this time missing the conversion.

Five minutes later Orquera found his range again with another penalty as Aironi stretched to a 17-0 lead.

Connacht showed some resolve to come back to 17-3 thanks to a successful Jarvis effort before the fly-half was replaced by Niall O’Connor.

However Orquera took advantage of another penalty shot soon after to take the lead back to 17 points, and despite the loss of Fabio Staibano to the sin bin, Connacht could only manage three more points through O’Connor 13 minutes from time.

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