Hansen touches down twice as Connacht see off Scarlets
Adding to Niall Murray’s first-minute opener, Hansen touched down to give Connacht a 16-11 interval lead. Steff Evans crossed for the Scarlets, while Jack Carty and Sam Costelow kicked two penalties each.
In the second half, Connacht replacement prop Jack Aungier barged over for his third try of the season and David Hawkshaw also split the posts.
The Scarlets struggled for the remainder, replacement Rhys Patchell kicking their only points, and Sione Kalamafoni and Dan Thomas were both sin-binned late on.
The visitors also endured a rocky start, Murray charging down a Kieran Hardy box kick to touch down with just 26 seconds on the clock.
Connacht captain Carty, who missed the conversion, traded penalties with Costelow. The Scarlets made it 8-8 in the 14th minute, Evans finishing an opportunist try amid a heavy rain shower.
Thomas, a loan signing for the Scarlets from Bristol, had a busy first half. He impressed at the breakdown but also conceded some penalties. Carty missed the target, though, and Connacht’s maul was whistled up for obstruction.
Carty and Costelow exchanged kicks again on the half-hour mark, before Ireland international Hansen finished neatly from a long Carty pass to edge Connacht back in front.
Thomas prevented another try on the stroke of half-time, and although Connacht number eight Paul Boyle saw yellow for upending Tom Price at a ruck, the home side struck again in the 53rd minute.
Aungier had Murray on the latch as he piled over out wide. Patchell and Hawkshaw exchanged penalties, making it 24-14 before the former missed the Scarlets’ last opportunity from the tee.
Connacht’s maul forced the penalty try in the 73rd minute, sandwiched between yellows for Kalamafoni and Thomas. Four minutes later, a deft Carty kick from halfway saw Hansen get the TMO decision to turn a late breakout into five more points.
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