Last-gasp Connacht stun Gloucester
MATCH REPORT: A last-gasp Robin Copeland try made sure Connacht bagged a hard-fought 27-24 Champions Cup victory over Gloucester on Saturday.
The Cherry and Whites seemed to have this wrapped up as they went into the final five minutes with a 24-13 lead, but Connacht stunned the visitors with two converted tries, the second with no time left on the clock, to snatch the win.
It was an error-strewn performance from Johan Ackermann’s side, who had to defend valiantly to stay in touch at half time after a tough 40 minutes when they were playing into the elements.
Gerbrandt Grobler’s try kept them in touch at the break, with the scoreline just 10-7 to the home side. Mark Atkinson’s interception try seemed to jump-start the performance, although Connacht hit back with a penalty from Conor Fitzgerald and a 13-12 lead.
But the Cherry and Whites then took control as tries from skipper Lewis Ludlow and a second from Atkinson seemed to have secured the win.
However, with Ludlow in the sinbin, Shane Delahunt finished off a catch and drive, the conversion making it 20-24 before the home team attacked from their own 22 and created an opening for Copeland to romp home and send the home crowd into raptures.
This place has gone bananas!
Just sensational lads!! As you can see our hands are still shaking 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/7JfQU1YLc0
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) December 14, 2019
Tries: Blade, Delahunt, Copeland
Cons: Fitzgerald 3
Pens: Fitzgerald 2
Tries: Grobler, Atkinson, Ludlow
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Yellow cards: Eoin McKeon (Connacht, 9), Todd Gleave (Gloucester, 28)
Connacht: 15 Jack Carty, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 John Porch, 10 Conor Fitzgerald, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Paul Boyle, 7 Jarrad Butler (captain), 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 2 David Heffernan, 1 Peter McCabe.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Niall Murray, 20 Eoghan Masterson, 21 Stephen Kerins, 22 Tom Daly, 23 Robin Copeland
Gloucester: 15 Matt Banahan, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Freddie Clarke, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Todd Gleave, 1 Josh Hohneck.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Chris Harris.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France), Adrien Descottes (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)