Having won two of their three pool C games on Friday to qualify for the quarter final, the side put in a comprehensive performance to beat New York City by 21 points to 19. Top try scorer Fionn Carr added to his tally from the previous day when he touched down again in the opening half of the afternoon game. Captain Shane Layden and his team mate Shane O’Leary also crossed for tries against the American side while scrum half Caolin Blade added three difficult conversion kicks.
While New York City were scoreless in the first half, they hit back after the break to score three tries of their own. A last gasp conversion kick to level the scores fortunately hit the posts to put Connacht through, as the only Irish side, to the semi-finals.
Connacht 21 – 19 New York City
Tries: Carr, O’Leary, Layden
Cons: Blade (3)
Up next was defending champions Daveta from Fiji who had beaten Munster well in the quarter finals. This was the most testing fixtures of all with the Fijians showing their experience and racing ahead with two tries in two minutes in the opening half to go 12-0 up.
It was a physical effort from Connacht but last year’s winners scored two more converted tries to cement their place in the final with Samurai 7’s – an invitational team of players from around the world. The Fijians went on to win the tournament once again.
Connacht 0 - 26 Daveta
The day wasn’t over and Connacht’s final and 6th game of the tournament saw them come up against pool opponents Golden Lions for the 3rd/4th place play off. McPhillips’ side had beaten the South African side 19-17 on Friday.
It was a typical gutsy performance from Connacht who at one stage were reduced to just five players with Layden and Ciaran Gaffney in the sin bin.
But they held their opponents out and went on to record a 21-14 win that earned them 3rd place in what was their competition debut.
Connacht 21 – 14 Golden Lions
Tries: O’Leary, Qualter, Gaffney
Cons: Blade (3)