Enisei-STM 14-31 Connacht

Connacht left Russia with a Challenge Cup hard-earned bonus-point victory over Enisei-STM, and were forced to endure the freezing Siberian temperatures for a little longer after a technical fault with their plane forced them to stay an extra night.

It was only four minutes from time that Pat Lam's side wrapped up the five-point haul when AJ MacGinty picked out Rory Parata with a cross field kick to score Connacth's fourth try.

In a game played in bitterly cold conditions both sides struggled to cope with temperatures well below -20ºC, but leaving Russia with no major injuries of note and the maximum return is hugely pleasing for Connacht.

Krasnoyarsk is hardly the place that USA international and Dublin born MacGinty would have expected to make his first start for Connacht, but he controlled matters beautifully in horrendous conditions.

Connacht's sole return from a tetchy first-half was two penalties from the former Blackrock College student, but in the conditions a 6-0 lead was priceless.

But shortly after the restart Connacht's class began to show as their dominant scrum started to consistently force Enisei onto the back foot.

Niyi Adeolokun touches down

MacGinty landed his third penalty in the 44th minute, and three minutes later Niyi Adeolokun dived over for their first try following a powerful scrum on an Enisei put-in.

Five minutes later skipper John Muldoon got in on the act with his side's second try which stretched their advantage out to 19-0.

The third try arrived soon after, on the back of a penalty earned by the scrum, and following a break from replacement Sean O'Brien, Aki sent Darragh Leader in on the left.

Replacement prop Andrei Polivalov crossed for two late tries, which was the least Enisei deserved, but Parata's score four minutes from time meant Connacht took the spoils from a well executed effort.

Enisei-STM: I Kushnarev; M Babaev, D Kacharava, D Gerasimov, D Simplikevich; R Gaisin, J Baranovs (A Shcherban 42-59); A Bezverkhov (A Polivalov 56), S Selskii (N Gasanov 68), I Zykov; U Saulite, V Krasylnyk (E Elgin 77); V Orlov, A Temnov (A Rudoi 74), D Krotov.

Scorers: A Polivalov 2 tries; I Kushnarev 2 cons

Connacht: D Leader; R Parata, B Aki (C Ronaldson 55), P Robb, N Adeolokun; A MacGinty, I Porter (C Blade 62); D Buckley (R Loughney 58), S Delahunt (D Heffernan 19-27, 65), F Bealham (C O’Donnell 68); U Dillane, A Muldowney (D Qualter 68); J Muldoon (S O’Brien 58), J Connolly, G Naoupu.

Scorers: N Adeolokun, J Muldoon, D Leader, R Parata tries; AJ MacGinty 3 pens; D Leader con.

Referee: Thomas Charabas (FFR).