Connacht secured five Champions Cup points in Parma today to go top of pool 2. Pat Lam’s men scored eight tries in a clinical performance on the road.

On his full debut, wing Stacey Ili scored a hat trick while Jack Carty, Cian Kelleher (2), and Conor Carey also crossed the whitewash to add to a penalty try. Craig Ronaldson kicked five from six conversion attempts with replacement Shane O’Leary slotting over the last two points of the game.

Connacht led 14 – 0 at the break after a hectic period that saw Sean O’Brien sin binned on 28 minutes followed by Zebre hooker seeing red for a bite on Quinn Roux. The hosts had 50 minutes left to play with just 14 men but managed to get over for a try after the hour mark with their replacement hooker Tomasso D’Apice crashing over from close range, fullback Edoardo Padovani converting.

Zebre: Edoardo Padovani; Gabriele di Giulio (Giovanni d’Onofrio ’43), Giulio Bisegni, Tommy Castello (Tommaso Boni ’59), Giambattista Venditti; Carlo Canna, Marcello Violi (Guglielmo Palazzani ’58); Andrea Lovotti (Bruno Postiglioni ’66), Oliviero Fabiani, Pietro Ceccarelli (Guillermo Roan ’55); Quintin Geldenhuys, George Biagi (capt) (Josh Furno ’52), Maxime Mbanda (Tommaso d’Apice ’33), Johan Meyer, Dries van Schalkwyk (Federico Ruzza ’63).

Connacht: Cian Kelleher; Niyi Adeolokun (Danie Poolman ’55), Peter Robb, Craig Ronaldson (Shane O’Leary ’57), Stacey Ili; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade ’57); JP Cooney (Conor Carey ’49), Shane Delahunt (Dave Heffernan ’52), Finlay Bealham (JP Cooney ’72); Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne (Ultan Dillane ’59), Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt) (Eoin McKeon ’58).

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Man of the Match: Jack Carty


Eoin De Buitléar signs first Professional contract with Connacht Rugby