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Adeolokun hat-trick helps Connacht secure home quarter-final in style

The hosts ran in eight tries as they steamrolled past hapless Oyonnax in Galway.

The province will have home advantage in the last eight.
The province will have home advantage in the last eight.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Connacht 50

Oyonnax 14

CONNACHT WRAPPED UP a home quarter-final in the Challenge Cup with a facile win at the Sportsground this afternoon.

Kieran Keane’s side had the bonus-point in the bag by the end of the opening quarter after Niyi Adeolokun gave them a perfect start with two tries in the opening three minutes as Connacht cut Oyonnax to shreds from the outset.

Bundee Aki got the third try after being put through by his Ireland team-mate Kieran Marmion.

Puma Alex Muller pulled back a try for Oy0nnax but the response from Connacht was excellent with Tiernan O’Halloran securing the bonus-point after less than 20 minutes.

Adeolokun completed his hat-trick just before the half hour mark and then Matt Healy, the latest Connacht player to hit the 100 appearances mark, raced through to score in the left corner.

Oyonnax winger Daniel Ikpefan pulled back a try before the break to leave it 36-14 at the interval.

Both sides emptied their benches after the restart and the game became more disjointed.

Niyi Adeolokun scores his third  try Adeolokun scored three times as Connacht ran riot. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

But Connacht eventually increased their lead when Tom Farrell got through for their second try with O’Halloran, having taken over the kicking duties from the injured Craig Ronaldson, adding the extras after 67 minutes on a day when Connacht started with 10 full internationals.

Connacht hit the half century with a penalty try four minutes from time to complete the rout as they advanced to the quarter-finals in style.

Connacht scorers:

Tries: Niyi Adeolokun (3), Bundee Aki, Tiernan O’Halloran, Matt Healy, Tom Farrell, penalty try
Conversions: Craig Ronaldson [2 from 3], Tiernan O’Halloran [2 from 3]

Oyonnax scorers:

Tries: Axel Muller, Daniel Ikpefan
Conversions: Anthony Fuertes [1 from 1], James Hall [1 from 1]

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun (Cillian Gallagher ’73), Eoin Griffin, Bundee Aki (Tom Farrell ’48), Matt Healy; Craig Ronaldson (Cian Kelleher ’33), Kieran Marmion (Caolin Blade ’48); Denis Coulson (Peter McCabe ’70), Dave Heffernan (Shane Delahunt ’55), Conor Carey (Dominic Robertson-McCoy ’49); Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux; Eoghan Masterson, Naulia Dawai (James Connolly ’55), John Muldoon.

OYONNAX: Axel Muller; Daniel Ikpefan, Ulupano Seuteni, Roimata Hansell-Pune, Tim Giresse (Maxime Veau ’66); Anthony Fuertes (Jose Lima ’35), James Hall (Julien Audy ’57); Khatchik Vartanov (Tommy Raynaud ’51), Quentin MacDonald (Benjamin Geledan ’51), Thomas Laclayat (Irakli Mirtskhulava ’33-75); Geoffrey Fabbri, Simon Christian Njewel (Shay Kerry ’73); Curtis Browning, Bilel Taieb, Thibault Tauleigne (Luc Barba ’51).

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England).

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