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Borders Fightback To Deny Visitors

The home side raced off to make the perfect start, rattling up 13 points in as many minutes. Winger Craig Moir broke the deadlock after just 90 seconds with a fine try created by stand-off Vili in the wake of a lineout steal.

Vili landed the conversion from a wide angle and then added two quick penalties to stretch the lead.

Connacht then got on the scoreboard from a Mark McHugh penalty before Vili responded for the Borders in kind. But when the Borders number eight Semo Sititi was sent to the sin-bin Connacht gained the upper hand, and just before the break they scored their opening try from Celtic League top try-scorer Conor McPhilips who went in at the corner, with McHugh converting.

Connacht kept up the pressure after the restart and they were soon level after two more penalties by McHugh. Then they took the lead for the first time when prop Peter Bracken scored his first try for Connacht following a
rolling maul that sent the Borders back-peddling 25 metres.

This was converted by McHugh and he soon added another penalty to give Connacht a 10-point advantage facing into the final quarter.

But then it all went horribly wrong for Connacht as they saw their lead whittled away. The Borders fightback started with a highly controversialconverted try by Scott MacLeod. Referee Paul Adams signalled a scrum to Connacht following a Borders knock-on but then awarded a try following the intervention of one of the two Scottish touch judges

And although McHugh responded with yet another penalty, the Scots seized on their good fortune and turned the game around with further tries from Stuart and Vili to seal an incredible fightback and gain their first-ever win over
Connacht.

Vili added the extra points from the boot to complete their haul,and Connacht’s misery was complete when the referee denied Shane Moore a late bonus score when he disallowed the centre’s try by bringing play back
instead for a Connacht penalty! It perfectly summed up the end to Connacht’s evening.

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