It was a fast-paced, high-scoring game of rugby at a sunny Sportsground this afternoon for the pre-season clash with Grenoble but it was Bernard Jackman’s French side that made the most of the conditions, running in eight tries, of which six were converted.

While the score line won’t please Pat Lam or his charges, the home side will be happy to have got a good run out against quality French opposition so early in the summer.  27 Connacht players were given game time including new recruits Api Pewhairangi at 13 and former Leinster lock Ben Marshall who scored his first try in a green jersey.

Connacht had the momentum in the opening half, exerting pressure in Grenoble’s half and executed well at scrum time.  From a dominant set piece, outhalf Jack Carty made use of quick ball to break through the Grenoble defence and score after six minutes. The Athlone man’s conversion attempt just shaved the right post but he was successful from the kicking tee 15 minutes later when his offload found scrumhalf Ian Porter who crossed for the second try.

The Top 14 side crossed on three occasions in the opening half through Mahamadou Diaby, Irish man James Hart and Fabrice Estebanez – Hart converting two from three.

Half Time: Connacht 12 – 19 Grenoble

The second half saw wholesale changes for each side and while Marshall got on the score sheet for Connacht, it was Grenoble who were the more clinical, crossing for five more tries, four of which were converted.

Full Time: Connacht 19 – 52 Grenoble

Connacht scorers: Jack Carty (6” Try; 23” Con), Ian Porter (22” Try), Ben Marshall (62” Try), Shane O’Leary (63” Con)

Grenoble scorers: Tries: M Diaby, J Hart, F Estebanez, D Kilioni (2), C Farrell, A Battle, N Hunt
Cons: J Hart (3), C Gelin (3)

Bernard Jackman’s side go on to play Munster next Friday while Connacht’s pre-season schedule continues with a 5-day training camp in France next week culminating in a friendly clash with Castres. Pat Lam’s men will also play Munster at Thomond Park on August 21st.

Connacht: 15 – 9: D Leader, F Carr, A Pewhairangi, B Aki, D Poolman, J Carty, I Porter
1 – 8: JP Cooney, T McCartney, R Ah You, U Dillane, D Qualter, J Muldoon (c), J Connolly, E. McKeon

Replacements used: Finlay Bealham, Nathan White, Shane Delahunt, Ben Marshall, Sean O’Brien, George Naoupu
Caolin Blade, Shane O’Leary, Conor McKeon, Dave McSharry, Rory Parata, Niyi Adeolokun

Grenoble 1 – 15: Fabien Barcella, Laurent Bouchet, Walter Desmaison , Ben Hand, James Percival, Jonathan Best, Mahamadou Diaby, Fabien Alexandre,  James Hart, Clément Gelin – Xavier Mignot, Chris Farrell, Fabrice Estebanez, Amrand Batlle – Robinson Caire

Replacements: Denis Coulson, Anthony Hegarty, Dayna Edwards, Mathias Marie, Peter Kimlin, Rory Grice, Christophe Loustalot, Charl McLeod, Jonathan Wisniewski, Nigel Hunt, Jackson Willison, Daniel Kilioni, Gio Aplon

Referee: Dudley Phillips

Related

Squad Update – Marmion ruled out until February