Connacht secured a sixth win in seven games with a hard fought 11-6 victory over Italian visitors Aironi Rugby.

In driving wind and rain – and occasional snow – Connacht got on top up front early and went ahead through an Ian Keatley penalty after five minutes.

Flying wing Fionn Carr went close to getting the ball down over the whitewash on a couple of occasions but it was Keatley who eventually cracked the Aironi defence, getting over for a stylish score just before half-time. The out-half was unable to convert and Connacht went in 8-0 ahead.

Keatley also missed his first penalty chance of the second half but a big kick from near half-way put Connacht 11 ahead and in a commanding position.

The Westerners were unable to pull clear though, and only just escaped letting in a try via a tight TMO decision after a lengthy period of Aironi pressure. The Italians put over a penalty at the end of that spell, Italian international Tito Tibaldi putting the kick over.

Tibaldi got another three-pointer with six minutes still on the clock to put his side within a converted try but Connacht just held out for the win to continue their good run on the Magners League table.