Munster consolidated their place at the top of Conference B in the Pro14 with a 19-14 win over Connacht at the Galway Sportsgrounds.

The southern province put out a much-weakened side compared to the one who lost to Saracens the previous weekend but came away with four points nonetheless.

Andy Friend’s side will be disappointed as they put out a near full-strength side and would have gone top of Conference B with a win.

Johann van Graan’s men started the game better than their western rivals, with JJ Hanrahan getting his side on the board with a penalty after eight minutes.

Former Munster academy man Conor Fitzgerald equalised for Connacht 9 minutes later through a penalty of his own but Hanrahan cancelled that out with another penalty two minutes later.

The reds got the first try of the game shortly afterwards with flanker Jack O’Donoghue powering over for a try which Hanrahan duly converted to put Munster 10 points ahead.

Conor Fitzgerald added another two penalties for Connacht to Hanrahan’s one in the last fifteen minutes of the first half to leave it 16-9 to the visitors at the break.

Munster added to their lead shortly after the breakthrough the boot of Hanrahan once again, re-establishing their 10-point lead.

There were no scores for almost 30 minutes then with Munster looking like they would grind out the win.

However, a late try from replacement Jack Carty brought Connacht within five points with just over 7 minutes to go.

The westerners were unable to score again, however, with Munster claiming a five-point win.

Connacht face Ulster on Friday at 7.35pm the Kingspan Stadium and will look to return to winning ways after a disappointing result tonight.

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