Connacht's Peter Robb red-carded after first touch of the ball
It was all going so well for Connacht, but they rallied superbly after the red card set-back.
Andy Friend's side raced into a 14-0 lead after 6 minutes against Southern Kings but were soon dragged into a dog-fight by some indiscipline and a tough call. Peter Robb came on as a 10th minute sub and was red-carded after his first touch of the ball.
Connacht found themselves 14 points clear, in their Guinness PRO14 match at Port Elizabeth, after Colby Fainga'a opened the scoring and Tiernan O'Halloran jigged and weaved past four Kings defenders to dot down under the sticks.
O'Halloran then came to the rescue in defence with a last-ditch tackle in the corner that prevented a certain try. Connacht then lost Matt Healy to injury and Robb was called in earlier than Friend would have liked. All of that transpired in the opening 10 minutes.
Connacht survived an attacking spurt from the hosts before they won possession back and pushed for a third try. On Robb's first carry, he raised his right forearm to fend off Howard Mnisi. In real-time, it looked as though he connected with the chest of Mnisi.
Referee Cwengile Jadezweni seemed convinced that the fend was dangerous and direct to the neck of the Kings centre despite replays not being conclusive and the TMO suggesting further viewings.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) March 1, 2020
Jadezweni's mind was made up, however, and Robb's match involvement was all of five minutes. Connacht would have to play the final 64 minutes with 14 men and it was 13 when Kyle Godwin was yellow-carded, on 26 minutes, for not retreating 10 metres.
With the two-man advantage, Kings were soon level when Stefan Ungerer and Erich Cronje got over for tries. All credit to Connacht, they stabilised after Fodwin returned and a Jack Carty penalty, on 40 minutes, left it 17-14 to the Irish province at the break.
Connacht scored a third try through Carty after the break and a penalty try, on 70 minutes, secured a hard-fought bonus point victory.
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