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Pat Lam's Connacht notch another win in Galway as Brive are banished

Rory Parata, Ben Marshall and Kieran Marmion all scored tries but there was no bonus point.

Connacht 21

Brive 17

Cian O’Connell reports from the Sportsground

RAPIDLY IMPROVING CONNACHT claimed another narrow Challenge Cup win at the Sportsground.

Benjamin Petre and Robbie Henshaw Robbie Henshaw was in midfield for Connacht. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Having encountered significant travel difficulties from their clash in Russia against RC Enisei, Connacht were understandably sluggish early on.

Despite a shaky start Connacht, who are also currently top of the Guinness Pro12, recovered to secure victory. With Brive physical and robust, Connacht encountered plenty of problems during a tepid and error-strewn opening period.

Brive full back Romain Sola missed two penalties in the first 12 minutes as Connacht struggled initially. The French visitors crossed for a 30th minute try as hooker Thomas Acquier touched down following a burst of pressure.

Sola failed with the subsequent conversion and within four minutes Jack Carty trimmed the deficit when landing a penalty. A splendid Carty cross-field kick resulted in a try for Rory Parata, who gathered smartly before crossing as Connacht edged 8-5 ahead.

On the stroke of half-time, Carty slotted another penalty as Connacht departed armed with an 11-5 interval advantage.

Five minutes after the restart Ben Marshall’s last involvement in the game prior to an injury-enforced departure was to score a try. Brive responded as Benito Masilevu dashed clear to pinch an opportunistic try, but Connacht summoned a blistering reply.

Benito Masilevu is unable to prevent Ben Marshall score his side's second try Benito Masilevu fails to prevent Ben Marshall from dotting down. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Irish international Robbie Henshaw and Niyi Adeolokun crafted just enough space for Kieran Marmion to finish a sweeping move with a third Connacht try in the 50th minute.

In the closing stages after Connacht suffered a string of further knocks Brive replacement Sevenaia Galala’s try was converted by Teddy Iribaren as the visitors earned a losing bonus point.

Connacht scorers:

Tries: Rory Parata, Ben Marshall, Kieran Marmion

Penalties: Jack Carty (2)

Brive scorers:

Tries: Thomas Acquier, Benito Masilevu, Sevenaia Galala

Conversions: Teddy Irabaren (1)

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; Rory Parata, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki (Craig Ronaldson ’50), Niyi Adeolokun; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (Ian Porter ’64); Ronan Loughney (Conan O’Donnell ’72), Jason Harris-Wright (Dave Heffernan ’28 to 37), Nathan White (Finlay Bealham ’50); Ben Marshall (Daniel Qualter ’45), Andrew Browne (Ronan Loughney ’73); Eoghan Masterson, Nepia Fox-Matamua (Dave Heffernan ’63), Eoin McKeon (George Naoupu ’63).

BRIVE: Romain Sola (Alfi Mafi ’41 (Teddy Iribaren ’54)); Malakai Bakaniceva (Sevenaia Galala ’50), Benjamin Petre, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, Benito Masilevu; Matthieu Ugalde, Jean Baptiste Pejoine; Damien Lavergne (Goderdzi Shvelidze ’47), Thomas Acquier (Guillaume Ribes ’47), Kevin Buys (Giorgi Jgenti ’47); Johan Snyman, Wilhelm Steenkamp (Victor Lebas ’19); Hughes Briatte, Poutasi Luafutu, William Whetton (Said Hireche ’47).

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys.

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About the author:

Cian O'Connell

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