Tuesday 25 April 2017

Agony for Connacht as Brive snatch victory with last-gasp penalty

Connacht out half AJ MacGinty, is tackled by Guillaume Ribes of Brive. Picture credit: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE
Connacht out half AJ MacGinty, is tackled by Guillaume Ribes of Brive. Picture credit: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE

Connacht spurned a golden opportunity to secure a Challenge Cup quarter final place as they were undone during an agonising climax away to Brive.

Brive 21 Connacht 18

It seemed as though they would leave France with a 12th victory when John Muldoon rumbled over with two minutes on the clock, but Jack Carthy failed to convert the skippers try and, when Connacht knocked on from the subsequent restart, Brive won a scrum penalty.

With the game poised at 18-18, Thomas Laranjeira sent over his seventh penalty of the night from 40m out, meaning Pat Lam’s men simply must beat Enisei-STM at home if they are to progress.

Connacht enjoyed the best possible start when Rory Parata skipped in lwith less than aminute on the clock, but Laranjeira kicked three penalties to the give the French outfit a 9-5 lead at the turn. AJ MacGinty landed a penalty of his own after the restart, before Muldoon touched down for the first of his tries.

MacGinty thumped the upright with his conversion, leaving the tie at 13-12 to the Galway outfit. Laranjeira kicked a brace of penalties to regain the advantage, prior to Muldoon scoring what should have been the decisive try.

All the visitors could do was watch as Laranjeira put their European ambitions in serious jeopardy.

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