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Heineken Cup – Connacht Mesmerizing In Italy, Four From Four For The Provinces

Gopperth has settled into his new club seamlessly.

Gopperth has settled into his new club seamlessly.

 

Zebre 6 – 33 Connacht

What can i say about this game, to put simply Connacht were unbelievable. They showed hunger, desire and their dynamic type off the play was incredible. They showed real intent and urgency and blew the Italians out of the way, Full credit to Mr Pat Lam for what he is doing with this side. The game started with both sides trading early penalties and Connacht leading 6 – 3 after the early exchanges.  A try by Connacht’s George Naoupa from a quickly taken short line-out resulted in the No.8 crossing over to give a well deserved lead midway through the first half. Dan Parks added the conversion along with two further penalties to give them a powerful 19 – 3 lead at half time. Connacht never let up in this game. Luciano Orquera only managed a second kick just a few minutes into half time and after this it was all about Connacht. Three penalties from the boot of Dan Parks made sure their would be no comeback for the Italians. Another well worked move towards the end of the game saw Mata Fifita ram over for Connacht’s second try, and a far higher standard than of late from the Westerners was complete. Connacht secure victory on a score of 33-6.

Leinster 19 -6 Castres Olympique

Leinster held off a spirited performance from the french club to give them their second win in this pool. The home side started brightest of the two when Jimmy Gopperth gave them a nine-point lead from three first half penalties. However the remainder of the half was all about Castres, when Rory Kockott scored the french sides only try of the game and he also converted himself. Leinster still lead only by two points at half time on a score of 9 – 7. This would be as good as it got for the French side though as they failed to score for the remainder of the game. Despite playing well in the early parts of the second half, Leinster’s defence remained too solid and shut the door on Castres during this period. Leinster were soon rewarded for their effort when Jack McGrath’s try put daylight between Leinster & Castres. The New Zealand born Jimmy Gopperth followed up with the conversion and later added a penalty to close out the game with Leinster coming out comfortable on a score of 19 – 6.

Montpellier 8 – 25 Ulster

Montpellier started this game on the right foot when Jonathan Pelisse gave the home side the early lead. Ulster assumed control of this game soon after though when Andrew Trimble got in to give ulster the lead with his try, and Montpellier began to slip as Ulster led 7 – 3 at the break. The second half started well for Ulster when Ruan Pienaar extended their advantage to 10-3. Montpellier cut the lead to just two points when Yoan Audrin broke away a try to bring them back into the game, but it wasn’t long before Ulster began their stranglehold. Montpellier failed to convert whilst Ulster converted a series of penalties from the boot of Ruan Pienaar as well as a late penalty by Paddy Jackson, which gave the Irish province a victory over one of the top sides in the French league.

Munster 26 – 10 Gloucester

Munster started this game exceptionally well when Ian Keatley converted three early penalties which gave Munster a 9-0 lead. Their lead was reduced when Gloucester scored a try completely against the run of play Charlie Sharples the one with the touchdown. Munster responded soon after when a rolling maul pushed over the Gloucester try line, with Damian Varley taking the plaudits for the try and Keatley’s conversion giving Munster a 16 – 7 lead heading towards half time.  Gloucester finished the half with a second penalty from Bentley and Munster lead at the interval by 16 – 10. Gloucester failed to score in the second half which was dominated by Munster in Thomond Park however and things looked significantly better than last week for the Munster men. A penalty by Keatley extended their lead to 19- 10 midway through the half. A brilliant move with a clever diagonal kick setup put inside the Gloucester defence was gathered by Johne Murphy who scored a try to seal their victory with Kealtey in fine form converting without any problems.

Image courtesy of rabodirectpro12.com

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