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Jackson boots Lyon to victory

MATCH REPORT: A brace from Thaakir Abrahams and the reliable boot of Paddy Jackson was the difference as Pool 1 high-flyers Lyon came through a tough test courtesy of Connacht, triumphing 34-20 in Round 3 of the Champions Cup.

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Sean Jansen took Lyon by surprise when he put the visitors ahead with a seventh-minute try, flying through from his own half and into the corner, but the French side hit back quickly, with tries from wing Thaakir Abrahams and fullback Alexandre Tchaptchet, both converted by Jackson.

Jackson added two penalties before the break as the hosts dominated possession, and Lyon looked likely to extend their advantage even further.

But flank Cian Prendergast’s essay down the line closed the gap three minutes before half-time, sending Connacht in ten points behind.

And they took that momentum into the second half, with Connacht’s power and efficiency pushing hooker Tadgh McElroy over the line, followed by JJ Hanrahan adding the extras.

It was the impetus Lyon needed to push on, though, with No. 8 Mickael Guillard’s try converted by Jackson in the 52nd minute.

Hanrahan’s penalty on 67 minutes made the closing stages more tense as Connacht continued to press.

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But a late try from Abrahams – his second – was converted by replacement Léo Berdeu, extending the TOP14 club’s margin of victory and making the last four minutes much more comfortable for the hosts.

The Westerners are still without a win in the competition, and sit bottom of the pool. They face Bristol Bears in their final pool game, while Lyon travel to Saracens.

Scorers:

For Lyon:
Tries: Abrahams 2, Tchaptchet, Guillard
Cons: Jackson 3, Berdeu
Pens: Jackson 2

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For Connacht:
Tries: Jansen, Prendergast, Tierney-Martin
Cons: Hanrahan
Pens: Hanrahan

Teams:

Lyon: 15 Alexandre Tchaptchet, 14 Monty Ioane, 13 Josiah Maraku, 12 Thibaut Regard, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Martin Page-Relo, 8. Mickael Guillard, 7. Arno Botha (captain), 6. Liam Allen, 5. Romain Taofifenua, 4. Joel Kpoku, 3. Demba Bamba, 2. Yanis Charcosset, 1. Hamza Kaabeche.
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Marchand, 17 Jérôme Rey, 18 Paulo Tafili, 19 Ugo Vignolles, 20 Maxime Gouzou, 21 Liam Rimet, 22 Léo Berdeu, 23 Alfred Parisien

Connacht: 15 JJ Hanrahan, 14 Andrew Smith, 13 Tom Farrell, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Shayne Bolton, 10 Jack Carty (captain), 9 Michael McDonald, 8 Sean Jansen, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Darragh Murray, 3 Jack Aungier, 2 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 1 Peter Dooley,
Replacements: 16 Tadgh McElroy, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19 Oisin Dowling, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Matthew Devine, 22 David Hawkshaw, 23 Shane Jennings

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (WAL) & Ben Breakspear (Wales)
TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)

Source @EPCR

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