The coup failed for Benetton, who battled with Connacht in Galway but conceded six goals. 1′ Great debut for Umaga, Watson, Sanon Tri and Menoncello in the final. Reno Smith injured, Crafton red.
An intense early stages of the game, with Connacht taking an early lead. Murray’s run was taken by Karthi who tried to punch the home defense. Karti transforms. The Lions try to fight back, but due to some untimely errors they are unable to break into the Irish 22m. Until Benetton rugby’s first goal came. Oval Connacht escapes possession from a ruck and Crafton is brilliant to quickly serve Marcus Watson who flies free on the left wing and scores. Umaga transformed and it was back to level in the first half.
Mendy will have to take Smith’s place due to physical issues. Connacht take power from their scrum and get a great touch in the Treviso team’s 22m. Aki gives a big oval to Boyle who scores from the lineout. Karti converted. The defense of Duvanage and his companions is steadfast and unyielding. Meanwhile, Alongi had to go out due to a shoulder injury.
After the Lions defense made a positioning error on the lineout, Carty took the lead and promised Connacht three more points. The Irish ended the first half 17-7.
The second half begins and Gallo takes over from Neymar. Connacht soon looked to sign a third try and Bealham broke the oval between the posts. Carty converts and the home advantage expands to 24-7. The Lions should respond and get back on the field with good speed action led by Padovani and Umaga. Gallo almost knocks the oval to the ground as Boyle holds the oval up.
In any case the momentum is in favor of the green and whites, Duvenage opens up for Marco Sanon who marks on the ground and Umaga adds two more points for Benetton Rugby. With a quarter of the match remaining, Garbisi comes in for captain Duvanage. The referee sent off Crafton for a high and dangerous tackle. Connacht with the extra man take advantage and the blade slides in for the Irish’s fourth heavy marking. Karthi made no mistake as Connacht stretched to 31-14.
Riera, Lazzaroni and Isekor entered for Sanon, Cannon and Pettinelli in the last final. There’s also the green and white debut of Frankini, replacing Nicotera. The Lions fight to the end and Tommaso Menoncello swallows up the home defense for the Green and White’s third try. Umaga takes that position this time. A final try from Connacht’s drive, signed by Tierney-Martin and Carty, made the final score for the Galway franchise 38-19.
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