Sunday 9 December 2018

Oyonnax struggling ahead of Galway trip

Connacht take on Ulster
Connacht take on Ulster

Declan Rooney

A bonus-point defeat at home to a Top 14 rival was hardly the best way for Oyonnax to warm up for tomorrow's final Challenge Cup clash with Connacht at the Sportsground, but with a relegation battle on their hands on home soil perhaps it is understandable that they might have their minds elsewhere.

The recent league form of Brive has seen them climb clear of the foot of the French top-flight table, and they were able to focus on their 29-19 bonus-point win in Oyonnax last weekend.

The five-point haul means they can still finish second in Pool 5 of the Challenge Cup, but will need to take the win when Worcester Warriors visit Stade Amédée-Domenech tomorrow.

Warriors remain in the hunt for a best runner-up slot after their draw with Connacht at Sixways last weekend, but they also needs results elsewhere to go their way to achieve one of the three places up for grabs.

Oyonnax will surely test out the extent of their squad once again when then come to the Sportsground.

Tries from Alfi Mafi, Felix Le Bourhis, Seremaia Burotu and Benito Masilevu meant they could not edge past Brive, although they did keep in touch thanks to four Julien Audy penalties and a try from Jose Lima in the closing minutes put a touch of respectability on the final tally.

It remains to be seen what Oyonnax side is named for the clash, but a win in Galway would be a big boost for the French side.

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