Connacht boosted their Guinness Pro12 playoff hopes with a 30-17 bonus-point win over the table-topping Scarlets at the Sportsground.
Pat Lam’s men avenged their recent narrow loss in Llanelli with three tries off lineout mauls and a fourth from lively replacement Rodney Ah You’s direct run.
The hosts’ dominant scrum and maul provided the platform for a 13-0 interval lead, with flanker Jake Heenan crashing over twice.
Having opted to play into a strong wind during the first half, the Scarlets turned around with the elements in their favour and hit back with a 10-point blitz, including a DTH van der Merwe try.
But yellow cards for Phil John and Tom Price in quick succession left the league leaders under all sorts of pressure, and tries from man-of-the-match Denis Buckley and Ah You settled the issue.
Although Gareth Owen responded for the weakened Scarlets side, their late push for a losing bonus point went unrewarded.
Cardiff Blues continued their improved form to record a 10-3 win over third-placed Edinburgh at the Arms Park.
Dan Fish scored the only try, which Rhys Patchell converted before adding a penalty. The margin of victory should have been greater but Patchell missed two penalties and the home side did not take a number of try-scoring opportunities which would have rewarded their dominance.
Edinburgh were disappointing and fortunate to come away with a bonus point as they could only manage a penalty from Nathan Fowles.
Stuart Olding scored a try on his return to action for Ulster as they secured a bonus-point 32-13 victory over Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo.
Flanker Sean Reidy, centre Darren Cave and winger Rory Scholes crossed before Olding went over for the crucial fourth try in a clinical second-half performance from the Irish province that kept them in the play-off hunt.
Elsewhere, Mark Chisholm scored his first try for Munster to help the Irish province to a 16-12 victory over Zebre in Parma.
Press Association Sport contributed to this report.
Source Article from http://espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/14678509/guinness-pro12-roundup-connacht-beat-table-topping-scarlets
Pro12 roundup: Table-topping Scarlets thrashed
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