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McPhilips try helps Connacht to opening win

Cardiff, who trailed 10-3 after McPhillips’ effort, narrowed the gap back to four points, but had only three penalties from Nicky Robinson to show for at the finish.

This was Connacht’s first ever win over the Welsh region although they had trailed early on to a Nicky Robinson penalty as the Connacht pack came under pressure.

It was Connacht who got closest to making the try breakthrough as nearing the half-hour, David Slemen and Darren Yapp combined to race play into Blues’ territory, but the move fell apart.

By that stage, Connacht had levelled. Following the 13th-minute sin-binnings of home flanker John Muldoon and Wales lock Robert Sidoli for an off-the-ball scuffle, Warwick dinked the resultant penalty through the uprights.

After Robinson missed a chance to reply early in the second half, drilling a drop goal shot wide, McPhillips scorched through to outpace two cover men for the corner.

Warwick did well to convert and the Australian held his nerve to kick a
74th-minute drop goal, sandwiched between a brace of Robinson penalties, to keep up Connacht’s record of winning every one of their opening league games since
2001.

Cardiff, who trailed 10-3 after McPhillips’ effort, narrowed the gap back to four points, but had only three penalties from Nicky Robinson to show for at the finish.

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