Image courtesy of INPHO

Enisei STM 14 – 31 Connacht

Thursday 19 November 2015

Get to know Enisei STM as a team with the EPCR match report from the game against Connacht

Ahead of Sunday’s visit of Enisei STM, with the kind permission of tournament organiser EPCR, Newcastle Falcons are please to introduce our Russian visitors by republishing the match report of the game in Siberia against Connacht Rugby last weekend.

Connacht will rarely have to work as hard in such severe conditions to earn a bonus point win in the Challenge Cup, but four second-half tries for Pat Lam's side sent them home from Siberia with five points in the bag.

There was nothing easy about this win in the snow dusted Central Stadium at Krasnoyarsk. Ball handling was nigh on impossible as the players from both sides battled temperatures below -20ºC, icy hands and a biting wind; the home side were well drilled on the physical side of the game; and it was only in the second-half when the Connacht scrum began to gain the upper hand that they found a way past the stern defence of their hosts.

Two well struck penalties from AJ MacGinty in his first Connacht start gave his side a 6-0 lead at the break, and at that juncture it seemed as if try scoring chances would never surface.

Connacht looked nervous in the early stages as they struggled with the coldest conditions they had faced since their arrival in Russia on Wednesday, but after MacGinty - who controlled the game well on debut - kicked his third penalty in the 44th minute, Connacht finally began to wear down the Enisei challenge.

It was from a fourth MacGinty penalty kick which struck the post, that Connacht's chance came in the 47th minute. Niyi Adeolokun was first to the ball, but under pressure he knocked on under the posts. However, from the resulting five-metre scrum Connacht pushed Enesei off their own ball and Adeolokun got over in the corner following good work from Bundee Aki and George Naoupu.

Five minutes later a scything break from man of the match Aki finally saw John Muldoon score in the corner which gave Connacht a 19-0 lead and some room to breathe. And shortly after the hour mark Darragh Leader bagged Connacht's third try - once again Aki had a hand in the score and sent Leader over on the left after a powerful carry from replacement Sean O'Brien.

The home side deserved a score and it finally came seven minutes from time when replacement prop Andrei Polivalov barreled over for the first of his two tries. But in between those tries from the Russians, MacGinty picked out Rory Parata on the right with a cross-field kick and Connacht sealed the bonus point win.

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