Wednesday 21 March 2018

Losses all round for European rivals

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Declan Rooney

Last weekend did not make for pretty reading for Connacht's Challenge Cup pool rivals as all three teams fell to defeats and accumulated a losing tally of 99 points between them.

The heaviest loss was suffered by Brive who were devoured by 62-6 by a rampant Clermont at Stade Marcel Michelin. Brive conceded eight tries in the game, while an eight-minute hat-trick from Aliveriti Raka, including a contender for try of the season, meant a tough afternoon's work.

Two penalties from Thomas Laranjeira tried to keep Brive in touch at the break, but there was no way back. They continue to search for a first points of the season, and the Top 14's bottom team host Toulouse this Sunday.

Oyonnax finished their game with Racing 92 with a respectable 25-13 defeat, but a second loss of the season means they sit 11th in the standings ahead of tomorrow's away clash with La Rochelle.

A try from Fijian second-row Leone Nakarawa helped Racing into a 22-3 interval lead, and despite Quentin Etienne crossing, Oyonnax were unable to close the gap sufficiently.

And the woe continued for Connacht's pool rivals as Worcester Warriors came out the wrong end of a 41-10 defeat to neighbours Exeter. Three first-half tries from Jack Nowell, Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill gave Chiefs the advantage, and a 47th-minute effort from Biyi Alo was all Warriors could manage in reply.

They face another near rival Gloucester tonight at Kingsholm.

Irish Independent

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