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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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Danie Poolman on the double as five-try Connacht maul Bayonne

Pat Lam’s men stretched their unbeaten run in Galway to seven games.

Connacht 42

Bayonne 19

CONNACHT BROUGHT THEIR unbeaten home run to a seventh game on another night of feelgood rugby at the Sportsground.

Two tries from Danie Poolman gave the hosts a half-time advantage of 15 – 12. And although Bayonne would start the second half even better than they did the first, the assured kicking of Jack Carty and a breakaway try from Bundee Aki allowed them to open up a lead going in to the final quarter.

Lalakai Foketi and Jack Carty Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Three penalties from Martin Bustos Moyano sent the visitors into an early 9 – 3 lead before Poolman crossed for the opening try after 20 minutes.

While Rodney Ah You came under pressure at times in the scrum, the line-out consistently looked like a useful weapon for Pat Lam’s side. it was on the back of one such rolling maul that Poolman was unleashed on a scything run to the try-line.

Carty’s conversion would nudge the home side in front for the first time, but Bayonne were able to pick off another opportunity after 28 minutes.

On the stroke of half-time however, another powerful maul was the basis for a sweeping back-line move with Carty and Aki involved before Poolman crossed for his second.

Danie Poolman scores his side's second try Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Though Carty was unable to add the conversion, he was on target again 13 minutes into the second half after Florian Lapeyrde’s try had pushed the visitors in to a four-point lead.

Whether trailing 15 – 19 or 18 -19, Connacht did not panic and Carty calmly stroked his side into the lead after 59 minutes following Lapeyrade was sin-binned.

Bundee Aki with Lalakai Foketi and Pierre Sayerse Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

From there, the floodgates opened. Kieran Marmion’s high box kick fell loosed on the edge of the 22 and Aki gratefully picked up to run in his first try for the western province. After a ding-dong opening 50 minutes, the result was put beyond all doubt when McSharry grounded a bonus point try.

That score was another for the maul’s highlight reel, but the pack opted to keep the next score for themselves, Willie Faloon claiming the fifth try in this five-point success.

The maximum return sees Connacht move to within a point of Exeter Chiefs in Pool 2 of the Challenge Cup.

Scorers

Connacht

Tries: D Poolman (2), B Aki, McSharry, W Faloon

Conversions: J Carty (3), C Ronaldson.

Penalties: J Carty (3)

Bayonne

Tries: F Lapeyrade

Conversions: C Otazo

Penalties: M Bustos Moyano (4),

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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