Dublin: 5°C Friday 21 January 2022
Advertisement

Connacht to host Gloucester in Challenge Cup quarter, but face potential away semi-final

Kieran Keane’s side advanced through to the knockout stages as third seeds.

CONNACHT WILL FACE Gloucester in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals for the second time in four seasons, but the province will be away from home in the semi-finals should they progress that far.

Bundee Aki celebrates scoring a try with Kieran Marmion and Eoin Griffin Connacht comfortably won Pool 5. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kieran Keane’s side sealed home advantage in the last eight with a thumping eight-try victory over Oyonnax at the Sportsground on Saturday and progressed through to the knockout stages as third seeds.

The reward for an encouraging pool campaign is a quarter-final date with last season’s runners-up, Gloucester, in Galway and revenge will be on the cards after the Premiership side dumped Connacht out at the same stage with a 14-7 win in April 2015.

If the western province can get past that quarter-final hurdle for the first time since 2010, they will face the winners of the last eight tie between Newcastle Falcons and Brive — but will be away from home.

Speaking after yesterday’s final pool victory and before the quarter-final line-up was confirmed, Keane said: ”I think we’ll be tough to beat here [at home]. We’re looking forward to it. Could be Gloucester, could be Cardiff, I’m not sure. We’re not really worried about either [team].”

SEE SPORT
DIFFERENTLY

Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

Defending champions Stade Francais, meanwhile, will meet Pau in an all-French quarter-final with the other tie seeing Edinburgh host Cardiff Blues.

The quarter-finals will be played on 29/30/31 March/1 April with the EPCR to confirm exact dates, venues and kick-off times next week, while the semi-finals will be staged on 20/21/22 April.

The 2018 Challenge Cup final will be played on Friday 11 May at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao.

Challenge Cup quarter-finals:

  • QF 1: Pau v Stade Francais Paris
  • QF 2: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues
  • QF 3: Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby
  • QF 4: Newcastle Falcons v Brive

Challenge Cup semi-finals:

  • Semi-final 1: winner of QF 1: Pau v Stade Francais Paris will play the winner of QF 2: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues
  • Semi-final 2: winner of QF 3: Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby will play the winner of QF 4: Newcastle Falcons v Brive

Here’s how the race for the 8 Champions Cup quarter-final berths stands

‘It’s been a sort of sad week, counting the days until you won’t be around here anymore, a place I’ve really enjoyed’

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:

COMMENTS (5)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel