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Connacht lose to Worcester in high scoring thriller

Connacht travelled to Worcester this evening for a warm-up game ahead of the upcoming season..

Conor Oliver is tackled.
Conor Oliver is tackled.
Image: Robbie Stephenson/INPHO

Worcester 52

Connacht 39

THEY SAY PRE-SEASON games tend to be forgettable. Well, the 1,658 people who attended this one will argue otherwise.

It was a thriller, Worcester winning deservedly but not before Connacht staged an almighty late charge, scoring three tries in the closing stages to make the scoreboard respectable.

At one stage, with 11 minutes left on the clock, Worcester led by 32 points. Connacht responded by getting the final 19 points of the game, Tiernan O’Halloran, Oisin Dowling and Jonny Murphy with the tries, Conor Fitzgerald with two out of three conversion attempts.

Earlier, it was clear that Worcester were that bit sharper. They took the lead when Melani Nanai took a clever line to score the game’s opening try on eight minutes.

Connacht responded with a score from Niall Murray, who crashed over after good work from O’Halloran, Shane Delahunt and Tom Farrell.

Worcester, however, were playing well. Ethan Waller finished off a good team move to restore their lead and they got to the break with a 17-10 lead.

Soon they’d increase it.

First Sam Lewis scored, then Alex Hearle’s pace hurt Connacht. By the time Sione Vailunu crossed on 62 minutes, it was 38-20 – Jack Carty’s penalty and a converted Matt Healy try keeping Connacht going.


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But two tries in three minutes – Jamie Shillcock setting up Tom Howe, three minutes before Howe returned the favour to create a score for Shillcock, left Connacht with the possibility of a humiliating defeat.

Instead they rallied. Those closing three tries in the final 10 minutes told a story of resilience and spirit.

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