The quarter-final pairings for the BKT United Rugby Championship have been confirmed and Connacht will be traveling to Belfast to take on Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.
The final round of the regular season saw Connacht head to Scotstoun to take on Glasgow where the home side came out on top winning 29-27. The defeat was Connacht’s first in the URC since New Year’s day away to Leinster.
Glasgow came out of the traps flying when Scottish international Huw Jones crossed over in the first minute to open the scoring. George Horne converted to make it 7-0.
It didn’t take long for Connacht to bounce back, after a dominant scrum five metres out from the Glasgow try line, it was reset where the resulting scrum saw Connacht awarded a penalty try to level the score seven a piece with five minutes on the clock.
Both teams went back and forth with attacks before Tom Jordan got the hosts second try of the game. In the collision leading up to the try, Jordan had the ball knocked out of his grip but managed to grab it in mid-flight to avoid a knock on and eventually score. Conversion kicked, the score was now 14-7 after the 16th minute.
Seven minutes later Glasgow went down to 14 men when second row Scott Cummings was sent to the sin bin for a challenge off the ball on Caolin Blade. A penalty was awarded, and Connacht captain Jack Carty sent it between the posts to make it 14-10.
With the extra man Connacht made hay while the sun was shining. Tom Farrell with a trademark burst opened the Glasgow defence which then led to a few phases in play before Finlay Bealham showed a swivel of the hips and nice hands to send Cian Prendergast through for a try. Carty converted and Connacht led 17-14 as we reached the half hour mark.
Despite being down a player Glasgow always have the capability of opening up any team and they managed to get their third try from scrum half Ali Price, the score coming a minute before Cummings return to the field.
Tiernan O’Halloran made an incredible try saving tackle before the half-time break to have this tie finely poised at 19-17.
If the first half was entertaining, the second half was a bit flat with no real flow to it. Both teams kept battling though.
Connacht brought on Sam Illo, Peter Dooley and Shamus Hurley-Langton from the start of the second forty.
It took over twenty minutes for the opening score of the second half when Johnny Matthews was at the end of the Glasgow set-piece maul to make it 26-17 with the conversion kicked.
Connacht needed a reply and got a penalty a few minutes later which Carty kicked to have six between the teams. Glasgow had a penalty of their own soon after to extend their lead beyond a converted try.
With the clock ticking, Connacht needed a spark and it came from Shamus Hurley-Langton. The flanker making a huge impression when coming on and scoring his first try in the URC. Carty converted where the score would end 29-27 in favour of Glasgow.