Monday, January 22, 2018

Connacht in the Challenge Cup Rounds 5 & 6 by Ciarán Duffy

Connacht topped pool 5 in the Challenge cup, finishing unbeaten in the group.

In round 5 Connacht drew away to Worcester Warriors.  Worcester took the lead in the first minute with a try from Humphreys, Pennell converted.  They’d extend their lead in the 4th minute with Lewis getting over.  Muldoon got Connacht opening score in the 16th minute, Ronaldson adding the extras.  Humphreys responded for Worcester, before Adeolokun got another for Connacht, with Ronaldson converting again.  Worcester went in at the break in control with Adams crossing over for a bonus-point try, Pennell converted.  In the second half Ronaldson kicked a penalty and converted O’Hallorans try.  It finished 24 – 24.

In round 6 Connacht were comfortable winners over Oyonnax.  The scoring started immediately with Adeolokun getting two tries within the first 3 minutes, the second of which was converted by Ronaldson.  Aki would get their 3rd try in the 10th minute, with Ronaldson converting.  Muller got one back for Oyonnax, which Fuertes converted.  O’Halloran would secure the bonus-point before 20 minutes had gone, before Adeolokun got his hattrick.  Healy got the final score of the half, with O’Halloran converting.  In the 2nd half Tom Farrell got over, with O’Halloran converting.  Connacht were awarded a penalty try with 5 minutes to go.  It finished 50 – 14.  

Elsewhere, Brive came 2nd in the pool and qualify for the quarter finals as one of the best runner-ups.  They won their final two games, beating Oyonnax 19 – 29, and Worcester Warriors 33 – 7.  

Connacht will host Gloucester in the quarter finals, the side they lost to at the same stage last season.  If the win they’ll be away to either Newcastle Falcons or Brive in the semi-finals.  

Final Standings:
Pool 5
PD +/-
Connacht Q
Brive q
Worcester Warriors

Quarter Finals:
Pau – Stade Francais
Edinburgh – Cardiff
Connacht – Gloucester
Newcastle – Brive

Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport).   He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.

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Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019