Connacht open European campaign with a win over Bordeaux

Bundee Aki draws the Bordeaux defence before releasing Eoin Griffin

European Challenge Cup

Saturday 13th October, Sportsground, Galway @ 3 pm

Connacht opened their Pool 3 campaign with a win over a Bordeaux side who had made 11 changes from their last Top14 encounter. In damp and dreary conditions in Galway Connacht’s new away strip of grey sucked further colour out of the encounter, making for difficult viewing for those in attendance as it did not offer enough contrast from the visitors’ strip of navy and white. 

Kyle Godwin who started on the wing rather than his more regular position in the centre got the games opening score after 13mins, when he was set up by prop Peter McCabe and crashed over from close range. The try was converted by Jack Carty, who added another three from a penalty on 22mins. Lucas Meret got the visitors on the board just before half-time with a sweetly struck penalty into the wind. 

Kyle Godwin crashes over from close range after a break from Peter McCabe.

Godwin got in for his second try shortly after the restart when Connacht made use of extra numbers on the left and spread the ball quickly out to the winger who ran in unopposed. Carty added the extras and Connacht led 17-3. However, that cushion was needed when Robin Copeland saw yellow for a slap down and Afasetiti Amosa got in for the visitor a minute later. The conversion was added by Meret and the lead was down to 7 points. 

Bordeaux pushed for a levelling score with some sustained pressure while Connacht were down to 14. However, the westerners’ defence held firm and once they were restored to the full complement they were soon back on the front foot. Finlay Bealham made the game safe with a third Connacht try on 68mins. Cian Kelleher kicked on a loose ball on the 5mtr line and Bealham reacted quickest to touch it down. 

Full-time Connacht 22 Bordeaux 10

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