Harlequins have booked a place in the final of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup despite a second-leg loss to Connacht.
Harlequins have booked a place in the final of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup despite a second-leg loss to Connacht.Quins had gone into the game with a nine-point lead and looked on course for an easy win when Paul Burke's converted try put them 10-3 ahead. Connacht hit back with tries from David Yapp and Eric Elwood and spot kicks from Mark McHugh to edge four points ahead over the two legs. But Will Greenwood sealed Quins' place in the final with a 66th minute try. Connacht barely looked capable of competing in the early stages, struggling to contain Quins' exciting runners. Burke made them pay with a solitary spot kick and a text book dummy to glide across for his side's only try of the half. From the base of a scrum, Simon Keogh spun the ball out to the former Irish international fly-half, who slid in unopposed. After looking some way off the pace, Connacht stormed back into the game and deservedly levelled in the 25th minute after a passage of sustained This time, Michael Walls spread it to Elwood, who popped it in for the in-coming Yapp. McHugh duly converted the score, adding to an earlier penalty.
Harlequins' two-leg advantage was reduced to just six points straight after the re-start with a quick-fire Eric Elwood drop goal. And Elwood then moved his side in front in the 56th minute, leaving the opposition defence in disarray and beating the clutches of three tacklers to the line. In a captivating second half, the visitors forced their way back in when Greenwood bundled his way through a melee of Irish defenders. His try was enough to put his side a point clear over the two legs despite Burke's failed conversion. Burke then had two chances to stretch the lead, missing the first - an attempted drop goal - and making no mistake with the second - a simple penalty. They now face French side Montferrand in the final. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Connacht: Mostyn; McPhillips, Yapp, McHugh, Munn; Elwood, Walls; McFarland, Jackman (capt), Bracken; Browne, Farley; Swift, Lacey, O'SullivanReplacements: Fogarty, Clarke, McCarthy, Neville, O'Loughlin, Moore, Robinson. Harlequins: Duffy; Harder, Greenwood, Deane, Monye; Burke, Keogh; Jones, Hayter, Dawson; Rudzki, Miall; Sanderson, Vos, Diprose (capt)Replacements: Dott, Gomez, Worsley, Davison, Sherriff, Willis, Dunne.
The Ireland Women's team played their first ever November Test match at the Twickenham Stoop last Saturday. We take a look back at the journey as Ireland capped nine new players in a rain-swept London.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney said that despite an 8-3 loss to England in their autumn international, the team put in an 'outstanding' effort and to get nine new caps on the pitch is 'a massive boost'.
Head coach Tom Tierney spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the Ireland Women's historic November international clash with England on Saturday. Ireland have eleven new caps in the squad as they build towards the Six Nations.
Ireland Women's second row Sophie Spence talks to Irish Rugby TV about being nominated for the World Rugby Women's Player of the Year honour. The winner will be announced at the World Rugby Awards at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday.
There are three enforced changes to the Ireland team to play Argentina, with Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy and Chris Henry all coming in up front. Watch as head coach Joe Schmidt announces the side for the quarter-final and flanker Henry talks about his inclusion.
Previewing Ireland's quarter-final clash with Argentina, hooker Rory Best said: "We've trained well and prepared well. It's a massive game. For us, it's going to need another step up from where we were last week against France. I think that's exciting. As a player, you want to be pushed to the end of your ability and there's no doubt Argentina will do that."
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney, scrum coach Derek Dowling and captain Niamh Briggs talk about their open training session at Kingspan Stadium and preparations for next month's clash with England and the 2016 Women's Six Nations.
'It's a quiet presence that takes up a lot of space' - Joe Schmidt spoke today about the impact of losing Paul O'Connell and his inspirational role in the Ireland squad. The head coach also commented on the incredible contribution of Jared Payne and Peter O'Mahony.
Robbie Henshaw, who starred in the centre against France, talks about Paul O'Connell's influence on him, calling the Limerick man a 'true inspirational leader' and 'a massive loss' to the Ireland squad following his tournament-ending hamstring injury.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney issues an update on the injuries suffered by Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton, while full-back Rob Kearney reflects on the 24-9 pool win over France.