Saturday 18 August 2018

Brive seek to continue improved form

Denis Buckely in action against Brive last year. Photo: Sportsfile
Denis Buckely in action against Brive last year. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Wins over Oyonnax and Worcester Warriors mean Connacht sit on top of Pool 5 of the Challenge Cup, but all of their focus now returns to the Guinness PRO14. But in six weeks' time Connacht travel to take on Brive in the first of their back-to-back meetings.

Brive will have been satisfied with their 38-13 bonus point win over Oyonnax at Stade Amédée-Domenech, especially after their opening-round defeat to Worcester, but they will hope that lift can be transferred over to the Top 14 as they seek to climb out of last place.

A first win of the season arrived in their last league game against Castres, which eased the tension somewhat, but with an away trip to Toulon this weekend the task is significant.

Elsewhere in the French top flight, Oyonnax face Lyon who are currently three points clear at the top of the standings with six wins from seven. Oyonnax have lost four games in a row in the Top 14 and both of their Challenge Cup games so far, so this could be a tough outing for them.

In the English Premiership, Worcester Warriors will hope to park their defeat to Connacht by beating Harlequins at the Stoop tomorrow.

It has been a very difficult season so far for Warriors who have yet to win a league game and seventh-placed Quins will also test their mettle away from home. A win is badly needed to close the five-point gap to London Irish.

Irish Independent

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