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Hapless Lions end tour with Connacht loss in URC try-fest


Connacht's Caolin Blade against the Lions

Connacht’s Caolin Blade against the Lions

Connacht’s Caolin Blade scored a hat-trick as the Irish side outplayed the Lions in their high-scoring United Rugby Championship (URC) encounter at The Sportsground in Galway on Saturday evening.

RECAP | URC – Connacht v Lions

The home side won 43-24 after leading 29-17 at half-time.

Connacht scored two minutes into the URC clash, with Diarmuid Kilgallen pushing through the Lions defence. 

The tourists got on the board with a penalty from Jordan Hendrikse, but Jack Carty extended their lead with a penalty of his own.

Shortly thereafter, the Lions worked the ball from a lineout with Asenathi Ntlabakanye going over under the posts to score the visitors’ first try as Hendrikse converted.

Shane Delahunt replied with a try of his own with Carty converting and the hosts continued to put the Lions under pressure as Caolin Blade got over the line.

Carty became Connacht’s all-time leading points scorer with that converted try.

However, a penalty advantage resulted in Henco van Wyk scoring for the Lions as Delahunt was shown a yellow card. 

Despite having a player in the sin bin, Tiernan O’Halloran scored as Connacht headed into the break with a comfortable 12-point lead.

After the break, Connacht quickly crossed the whitewash as Blade scored his brace in the middle of the posts, with Carty slotting the conversion.

Connacht then went on to score their sixth try, with Blade completing his hat-trick.

The Lions came back and scored the ninth try of the match as Marius Louw caught the hosts’ defence unaware, but it was too late as Connacht delighted the crowd with a comprehensive win.


Connacht 43 (29)

Tries: Diarmuid Kilgallen, Shane Delahunt, Caolin Blade (3), Tiernan O’Halloran

Conversions: Jack Carty (5)

Penalties: Carty

Lions 24 (17)

Tries: Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Henco van Wyk, Marius Louw

Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2), Ntlabakanye

Penalties: Hendrikse

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