Connacht ended a run of three successive Guinness PRO14 home defeats with a 32-17 bonus point win over Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground.

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Rhys Carre’s first-ever try for Cardiff looked an important score, until Alex Wootton’s quickfire brace just before half-time handed the hosts a 20-10 lead.

Corey Domachowski became the second Cardiff prop to touch down in the 64th minute, but Connacht captain Jarrad Butler and replacement Abraham Papali’i sewed up the result with final-quarter tries.

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Cardiff controlled the early possession and Lloyd Williams’ snipe and a forward-looking pass set up Aled Summerhill for a massive surge downfield.

The hosts leaked a penalty close to their own line, and after a 10th-minute maul drew the Blues closer, Carre was well supported by Liam Belcher as he drove over for Jason Tovey to convert.

A Jack Carty penalty opened Connacht’s account soon after, and he landed a second kick in the 21st minute to make it a one-point game.

Connacht had blown an overlap before that, though, and Cardiff hit back through Tovey’s right boot for a 10-6 lead, following a no-clear release penalty against Dave Heffernan.

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However, winger Wootton’s six minutes of magic before the interval really lifted Connacht. He surged in between Mason Grady and Belcher, past the visitors’ 10-metre line, and evaded Matthew Morgan’s tackle to finish to the left of the posts.

With the clock in the red, the 26-year-old showed great feet again to score at the end of 16 phases and stun what had been a reliable Blues defence for the opening 35 minutes.

Carty tagged on both conversions for a 14-point swing, and after Tovey hit the post with an early second-half penalty, Connacht had the better of the play up to the hour mark.

They turned down a kickable penalty but emerged scoreless, and their own indiscipline allowed the Blues to bite back.

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Ellis Jenkins increased his influence at the breakdown before replacement Domachowski burrowed over.

Full-back Morgan’s conversion made it 20-17, but it was then Cardiff’s turn to fall foul of referee Andrew Brace’s whistle. It gave Connacht prime maul position and Butler was quickly bundled over for an unconverted score.

A unlikely bonus point was the westerners’ reward late on, with big back rower Papali’i – backed up by Ultan Dillane – powering over in the 77th minute for his third try in five appearances.

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