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30th Nov 2014

Scarlets leathered as Connacht serve notice of intent

Bundee Aki was named man-of-the-match after a fine defensive outing

Patrick McCarry

Bundee Aki must think this Guinness PRO12 lark is easy

Connacht defeated Scarlets 14-8 on Saturday to record their sixth league win of an already impressive season. Matt Healy scored a stunning chip and chase try and Jack Carty kicked three penalties to keep up the hunt for a top four finish. The final scoreline did not fully reflect Connacht’s second-half dominance.

Aki arrived from New Zealand five weeks ago and has now lined out for his new employers twice – victories over Zebre and Saturday’s visitors from Wales.

‘The boys have done a lot of hard work,’ Aki told Sky Sports after the six-point win. ‘They’ve done unbelievable in four or five games this season and you can see the passion they have when they are here at their home ground. It made my job a lot easier because they are doing theirs so well.’

Aki added, ‘We obviously knew that the Scarlets had big runners so we knew we had a job to do in midfield. It was a bit of a shame that I couldn’t play out there with Robbie Henshaw. The boys outside and inside me made my job a lot easier by talking to me. Credit needs to go to them as well.

Looking ahead to the resumption of Challenge Cup action next weekend, Aki commented, ‘Bayonne are a good team. I’ve always looked at them as a team as there have been a lot of All Blacks (playing) there before. Another exciting day here at the home ground.’

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