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Gloucester Rugby denied at the death by never-say-die Connacht

Gloucester Rugby denied at the death by never-say-die Connacht

Gloucester Rugby looked as though they had battled their way to a hard-fought win in Connacht, but Robin Copeland’s try with the last play of the game saw the home team snatch a 27-24 Heineken Champions Cup victory on Saturday afternoon.  

The Cherry and Whites seemed to have this wrapped up as they went into the final five minutes with a 13-24 lead, but Connacht stunned the visitors with two converted tries, the second with no time left on the clock, to snatch a 27-24 win.

It was an error-strewn performance from the Cherry and Whites, who had to defend valiantly to stay in touch at half time after a tough 40 minutes when they were playing into the elements.

Gerbrandt Grobler’s try kept them in touch at the break, with the scoreline just 10-7 to the home side. Mark Atkinson’s interception try seemed to jump start the performance, although Connahct hit back with a penalty from Conor Fitzgerald and a 13-12 lead.

But the Cherry and Whites then took control as tries from skipper Lewis Ludlow and a second from Atkinson seemed to have secured the win.

However, with Ludlow in the sinbin, Shane Delahunt finished off a catch and drive, the conversion making it 20-24 before the home team attacked from their own 22 and created an opening for Copeland to romp home and send the home crowd into raptures.

Despite not being at their best, the Cherry and Whites will dwell on how this one slipped away and look to bounce back before they entertain Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm next Friday.

Match statsTeam lineups
Connacht Rugby
80' C. Fitzgerald
80' D. Heffernan
78' C. Fitzgerald
78' S. Delahunt
59' C. Fitzgerald
30' C. Fitzgerald
30' C. Blade
14' C. Fitzgerald
10' E. McKeon
Gloucester Rugby
69' M. Atkinson
68' B. Twelvetrees
67' L. Ludlow
51' M. Atkinson
35' B. Twelvetrees
35' G. Grobler
29' T. Gleave