Oyonnax 15

Connacht 43

Connacht got their European Challenge Cup campaign off to the perfect start with a bonus point win against French Top14 side Oyonnax in the 30,000 seater Stade de Geneve in Switzerland. Buoyed on by a noisy travelling support Connacht ran in five tries in an exciting, attacking performance.

Leading 22 points to 15 at the break Connacht never looked like loosing this game despite a purple patch for the French side when they pegged back a 16 point deficit to bring it back to 19 points to 15 in Connacht’s favour with 35 minutes gone. From there on it was all Connacht though as Oyonnax failed to score for the remainder of the game.

Oyonnax opened the scoring with a penalty inside two minutes from out-half Christopher Ruiz. Connacht responded immediately with Matt Healy getting over for a try after 5 minutes and Cian Kelleher doing likewise a few minutes later. Connacht continued to apply the pressure and kicked to the corner after 20 minutes. From the resulting lineout Eoin McKeon got over for Connacht’s third try.

Oyonnax responded with their best period of the game with tries from centre Ulupano Seuteni and winger Axel Muller crossing to cut the gap to 19-15 after half an hour.

After the break Andrew kicked a straight forward penalty to keep the score board ticking over and the bonus point was secured when Matt Healy got over for his second try on 53 minutes. From there on Connacht defended resolutely to make sure Oyonnax had no opportunity to get back into the game.

With two minutes Darragh Leader got over in the corner for a well worked try – Connacht’s fifth of the evening. A perfect start to Kieran Keane and Connacht’s Challenge Cup campaign.

Connacht: Darragh Leader, Cian Kelleher (Rory Scholes 69), Eoin Griffin, Tom Farrell (Craig Ronaldson 58), Matt Healy, Andrew Deegan, Caolin Blade, Denis Coulson (Peter McCabe 76), Tom McCartney (Shane Delahunt 65), Finlay Bealham (Conor Carey 76), Ultan Dillane (Quinn Roux 65), James Cannon; Eoghan Masterson, Eoin McKeon, John Muldoon (James Connolly 70).

We’re back at home in the Sportsground for more European action next Saturday. Tickets are still available here.

 

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