The Irish side played a controlled 80 minutes of rugby to take full advantage of the Ospreys’ weaknesses up front as they continue to suffer with three front-rowers being in Australia for the World Cup.
Ospreys fly-half Shaun Connor gave his side an early 6-0 lead with two penalty goals, before visiting left winger Wayne Munn sneaked inside the defence to score. Eric Elwood’s conversion gave his side the lead, and he swapped penalty goals with Connor before hooker Chris Wells gave the home crowd something to cheer about with a hard-fought try in the 26th minute. It was Wells’ last action of the match as he limped off with a knee injury, only a week after first-choice hooker Barry Williams was ruled out for a month.
Elwood slotted another penalty goal to narrow the gap to 16-13 at the halftime break, but it was a home lead that didn’t last long.
Veteran Ospreys centre Scott Gibbs missed a crucial tackle as Connacht hooker Bernard Jackman scored a good try, before lock Mike McCarthy found himself in acres of space to run 45 metres and take the visitors out to a comfortable lead.
Replacement Conor McPhillips continued his fine season as he crossed for his fifth try to earn his side a bonus point, and it was game, set and match, despite an 18-7 penalty count in favour of the home side