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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 21 February, 2020


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E-mail to, tweet us @thescore_ie, post on our Facebook wall or leave a comment below as Gloucester take on Connacht…

Full-time: Gloucester 23-19 Connacht

Connacht, still searching for their first win in the Heineken Cup, bring Johnny O’Connor back in for the injured Ray Ofisa. The second change to the team sees Eoin Griffin take the place of Kyle Tonetti in the centre, with the latter dropping to the bench…

Today’s teams:-

Gloucester: O Morgan; C Sharples, M Tindall, E Fuimaono-Sapolu, J Simpson-Daniel; T Taylor, N Runciman; D Murphy, S Lawson, R Harden; P Buxton, J Hamilton; B Deacon, A Hazell, L Narraway (capt).

Replacements: M Cortese, N Wood, S Knight, W James, A Qera, R Lawson, F Burns, J May.

Connacht: G Duffy (capt); M McCrea, E Griffin, D McSharry, T O’Halloran; N O’Connor, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Loughney; G Naoupu, M McCarthy; D Gannon, J O’Connor, J Muldoon.

Replacements: A Flavin, D Rogers, R Ah You, M Kearney, E McKeon, P O’Donohoe, M Jarvis, K Tonetti.

Gloucester 0-0 Connacht: Gloucester will rely on Jim Hamilton at the line out and he starts as he means to go on, taking Lawson’s throw with aplomb. Then it is Connacht’s turn to attack and they get the penalty when one of the Gloucester players goes into the side of Mark McCrea.

Gloucester 3-0 Connacht: The Irish province may have had 84% possession in the early stages but it Gloucester that take the lead through Tim Taylor’s penalty.

Gloucester 3-7 Connacht: A superb try from Connacht as Frank Murphy steals possession and drives forward. His offload to George Naoupu is well received and, when he’s blocked, up comes Tiernan O’Halloran for his second Heineken Cup try. Niall O’Connor with the conversion.

Gloucester 3-7 Connacht: A potential try for Charlie Sharples is not awarded by the TMO. O’Halloran got his hand to the ball at the same time. Should the benefit have gone to the team in attack?

Gloucester 10-7 Connacht: The scrum collapses and a penalty goes to Gloucester. The home side decide to run in from five metres out… And it eventually pays off as Taylor goes for the gap and finds it. A brilliant finish by the fly-half under the post.

Gloucester 10-10 Connacht: Connacht edge their way to the Gloucester 22, with replacement Kyle Tonetti central. Some very enterprising rugby and it results in a penalty opportunity for the visitors. O’Connor draws the sides level.

Gloucester 10-10 Connacht: Small stat – only two knock-ons in the game so far.

Gloucester 10-10 Connacht: Some of O’Connor’s kicking has been majestic. He relieves the pressure on his side with the outside of his right boot, and puts the onus back on Gloucester to defend.

Gloucester 10-13 Connacht: Connacht get the penalty when the scrum collapses – Harden broke the bind in front of the referee. A chance to lead going into half-time… O’Connor steps up… Over it goes. Three points, hard earned.

Gloucester 10-13 Connacht: A drop goal attempt from Connacht does not reach its target and the half-time whistle goes.

Gloucester 10-13 Connacht: Tim Taylor’s wrist injury means he won’t be involved in the second half. The promising Freddie Burns is on.

Gloucester 10-13 Connacht: Burns is straight into the action, superbly advancing to the ten metre line, before his touch lets him down and he knocks on. Connacht drive forward with O’Connor and Eoin Griffin, who is shackled by the Gloucester defence. Connacht have started the second half as they finished the first and Gloucester need to slow the ball down.

Gloucester 10-16 Connacht: A 44-metre kick from O’Connor has both the distance and the accuracy. Bryan Redpath is not a happy man as his side are not at the races.

Gloucester 10-16 Connacht: Rory Lawson comes on at scrum-half for Gloucester. Will his experience turn things around for the English side?

Gloucester 10-16 Connacht: James Simpson-Daniel to Burns on the wing as Gloucester seize the advantage. Connacht defend well, though, with Gloucester spilling the ball and sacrificing the scrum to the Irish side.

Gloucester 13-16 Connacht: Frank Murphy is penalised for impinging and Gloucester have a penalty. No yellow card but Gloucester can cut the deficit in half – and Burns makes no mistake.

Gloucester 13-16 Connacht: Paul O’Donohoe replaces Murphy. Gloucester have given away four penalties in the second half, Connacht just the one.

Gloucester 13-16 Connacht: Connacht will feel they have their first victory in rugby’s premium club competition in their sights. Only 12 minutes remain and, while their lead is slender, they’re showing far more togetherness and defensive skill than their rivals.

Gloucester 16-16 Connacht: Talk about ‘hostage to fortune’ – Gloucester equalise through a Burns penalty from 45 yards out. All to play for, Redpath is on his feet and the Gloucester crowd wake up.

Gloucester 16-16 Connacht: So close for Connacht! Kyle Tonetti is downed only three metres from the line. It seemed he might make but he’s caught short. Connacht will take the penalty as consolation, though…

Gloucester 16-19 Connacht: There are seven minutes on the clock and O’Connor has just restored Connacht’s lead.

Gloucester 23-19 Connacht: Try for Gloucester! Jonny May takes advantage of a missed tackle by Adrian Flavin and races through to score a vital, vital try. A brilliant kick from Burns gives Gloucester a four point lead. Tough on the Westerners who seemed to be in control, but their only hope now is a try of their own.

Gloucester 23-19 Connacht: And that’s it – a late burst by Gavin Duffy failed to produce a try and, after Connacht lose the ball, Gloucester kick to touch and the match is ended. Once again, Connacht are disappointed despite plenty of encouraging play.

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