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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020
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Liveblog

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Good afternoon, folks. 

Welcome along to our liveblog of Connacht’s Pool 5 fixture against Gloucester.

Can Andy Friend’s side make it a clean sweep of victories for the Irish provinces this weekend?

The action at Kingsholm gets underway at 1pm and we’ll keep you updated throughout the game right here.

There’s a change to the Connacht bench from the matchday squad that was announced on Friday. Peter McCabe replaces Matthew Burke, who has been forced to drop out due to illness.

Gloucester

15. Tom Marshall
14. Louis Rees-Zammit
13. Chris Harris
12. Mark Atkinson
11. Ollie Thorley
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Joe Simpson

1. Val Rapava Ruskin
2. Franco Marais
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Gerbrandt Grobler
5. Franco Mostert
6. Ruan Ackermann
7. Jake Polledri
8. Ben Morgan (captain)

Replacements:

16. Todd Gleave
17. Josh Hohneck
18. Jamal Ford-Robinson
19. Alex Craig
20. Lewis Ludlow
21. Callum Braley
22. Billy Twelvetrees
23. Matt Banahan

Connacht

15. John Porch
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Bundee Aki
12. Peter Robb
11. Kyle Godwin
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Joe Maksymiw
5. Quinn Roux
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Jarrad Butler (captain)

Replacements:

16. Jonny Murphy
17. Peter McCabe
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Robin Copeland
21. Stephen Kerins
22. Conor Fitzgerald
23. Tom Daly

Connacht began this season’s Champions Cup campaign with a home win over Montpellier, before going down away to Toulouse.

Gloucester are searching for their first win, having narrowly lost both of their games thus far — at home to Toulouse and away to Montpellier.

Kick-off is fast-approaching in Gloucester. Sean Farrell, our man at Kingsholm, will bring you a match report and reaction shortly after the final whistle.

According to Seanie, with the exception of a mild breeze, conditions there are decent.

A sizeable contingent of Connacht fans have made the journey in the hope of seeing their side record a first ever win against Gloucester, who are on a run of five games without a victory themselves.

connacht-fans-before-the-game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

connacht-fans-before-the-game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

connacht-fans-before-the-game

connacht-fans-before-the-game

1Mins

Pascal Gauzère blows his whistle and the game is underway.

3Mins

Gloucester 0 Connacht 0

3 – Connacht forced to be on their guard defensively early on, before the danger is cleared by Carty when Gloucester are penalised at the breakdown.

4Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 0

4 – That’s not the start that Connacht would have wanted. Some individual brilliance from Marshall, who dances through a couple of Connacht tackles to score under the posts, leaving an easy task for Danny Cipriani to add the extras.

8Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 0

8 – Vital interception by Connacht’s John Porch to deny Chris Harris what would almost certainly have been a second Gloucester try.

 

9Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 7

9 – Connacht are back on level terms thanks to a fantastic try by Porch which was set up by a lovely offload from Jack Carty, who then stepped up to convert. Very entertaining start to this game.

11Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 7

11 – Relief for Carty as his attempted chip over the top is blocked by Marshall, but the potential breakaway for Gloucester is scuppered as the referee deems that Marshall had knocked forward.

 

16Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 7

16 – Gloucester have introduced Billy Twelvetrees due to a blood injury to Mark Atkinson, with Connacht now on the attack inside Gloucester’s 22.

 

17Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 7

17 – Penalty to Connacht after Gloucester collapse the maul.

 

18Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

18 – Carty capitalises on the opportunity to put the visitors ahead.

 

20Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

20 – Scrum to Connacht on halfway after Gloucester are penalised for a forward pass. 

 

23Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

23 – Blade releases Porch to launch another attack down the left flank before he’s forced into touch. Gloucester lose a turnover following their own lineout, but Connacht then lose the momentum and a penalty is awarded to the hosts for not rolling away.  

25Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

25 – Gloucester on the charge but concede another penalty at the breakdown. Fine defending there by Adeolokun and Robb.

27Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

27 – More pressure from Gloucester but it culminates in the home side coughing up a breakdown penalty yet again. Brilliant stuff from Bundee Aki in attempting to force the turnover.

 

28Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

28 – A change for Connacht as Robin Copeland comes in for the injured Colby Fainga’a.

28Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

28 – Carty’s kick to touch isn’t his best so Connacht remain under pressure.

30Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

30 – After a combination of more Gloucester sloppiness in attack and disciplined Connacht defending, Carty finds touch just inside the Gloucester half.

31Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

31 – Concern for Connacht as Atkinson breaks through but he then loses his footing before he can release Simpson to score. A big stroke of luck for Andy Friend’s side.

34Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

34 – Quinn Roux penalised for coming in at the side when Gloucester looked to drive their way over following a lineout. The hosts go to touch again.

 

34Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

34 – A narrow escape again for Connacht. Marais appears to force his way over but the TMO deems that the ball was lost forward.

 

36Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

36 – Wind and rain now picking up at Kingsholm.

38Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

38 – Big boost for Connacht as they win a penalty from a scrum just inside their own half. Carty finds touch inside Gloucester territory.

 

49Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

39 – A penalty for Connacht at the lineout after Mostert takes the man in the air. Carty will go for the posts, about 45 metres out.

40Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

40 – Decent effort from Carty but it drifts just wide.

40Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10 

40 – A big tackle by Mostert on Carty thwarts a Connacht attack. Gloucester on the charge now looking for a score before the interval.

40Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

40 – It comes to nothing and that’s the interval.

41Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

41 – The game has resumed at a blustery Kingsholm, with the wind at Gloucester’s backs for the second half.

41Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

41 – Great start for Gloucester as Cipriani finds touch in the corner.

42Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

42 – A clever lineout relieves the pressure on Connacht.

45Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

44 – Ironic cheers from the Gloucester fans towards the referee — who they’re not happy with today — as he awards them a scrum following McCartney’s forward pass to Robb.

45Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

45 – Godwin finds touch as Connacht make their way into Gloucester territory.

46Mins

Gloucester 7 Connacht 10

46 – Connacht win the lineout and begin to turn the screw in attack.

47Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

47 – Disaster for Connacht. Carty’s pass is intercepted by Cipriani. He breaks and eventually offloads to Louis Rees-Zammit who puts Gloucester back in front, with Cipriani adding the extras.

50Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

50 – Carty’s kick for touch is heavy and goes out on the full. It’s been an error-strewn start to this second half for the visitors.

 

53Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

53 – Gerbrandt Grobler scuppers a Gloucester attack by knocking forward, before Conor Fitzgerald replaces Jack Carty on the Connacht team. Fitzgerald is immediately penalised for a forward pass, which looked like a slightly harsh call.

 

55Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

55 – Simpson’s grubber off the back of the scrum forces Connacht back into their own 22. 

55Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

55 – Dominic Robertson-McCoy has replaced Finlay Bealham for Connacht.

56Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

56 – Moments after coming on, Ultan Dillane is penalised for a high tackle. Gloucester go to the corner in search of a third try.

58Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

58 – Sustained period of pressure from Gloucester now, Connacht will need to be disciplined to survive this.

58Mins

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

58 – The TMO is checking the grounding on a potential Gloucester try but it’s good news for Connacht. The referee goes back to a penalty for the hosts instead. It could have been a handy three-pointer for Cipriani but they’ve opted for a scrum.

Gloucester 14 Connacht 10

60 – Kyle Godwin pays the price for consistent Connacht infringements. He’ll spend the next 10 minutes in the sin bin.

 

62Mins

Gloucester 19 Connacht 10

61 – That was coming. Simpson peels away from the scrum and releases Marshall to dart through for this second try, which Cipriani was unable to convert.

64Mins

TRY! Gloucester 24 Connacht 10 (Jake Polledri, 64)

 

64Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

64 – Polledri marches through some slack Connacht tackling and seals the bonus point, with Cipriani converting. All of a sudden, Gloucester now have a commanding lead.

69Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

69 – A bit of respite for Connacht as Fitzgerald finds touch inside the Gloucester half.

71Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

71 – Great break by Masterson just ends short of the line, and the ball is ultimately held up, according to the referee.

Kyle Godwin’s spell in the sin bin has just ended.

 

72Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

72 – Connacht, with an advantage in the back pocket, are hammering away at the Gloucester line.

 

72Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

72 – It eventually comes back for a Connacht scrum. They’ll be disappointed to come out of this spell empty-handed.

 

73Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

73 – Further infringing from Gloucester earns an advantage for Connacht and a yellow card for Billy Twelvetrees for offside.

 

77Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

77 – Connacht are still plugging away here, their momentum being interrupted by frequent penalties. Another yellow card for Gloucester could be coming.

 

78Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 10

78 – Dominic Robertson-McCoy forces his way over, the TMO is summoned and — perhaps surprisingly — determines that the ball is lost forward. Extremely frustrating for Connacht.

 

 

 

81Mins

Gloucester 26 Connacht 17

80 – Quinn Roux eventually bulldozes his way over for Connacht, and even with Fitzgerald’s conversion, it’s scant consolation for Andy Friend’s side today.

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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