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Connacht Away To Gloucester In Challenge Cup’s Last-Eight

Connacht Away To Gloucester In Challenge Cup’s Last-Eight

Connacht secured the eighth and last quarter-final place in this season’s European Challenge Cup with a dramatic finish at Stade Marcel Deflandre last night.

Through fleet-footed wingers Niyi Adeolokun and Matt Healy, Connacht grabbed two converted tries in the final six minutes to beat La Rochelle 30-20 and wrap up the last of the best runners-up spots in the competition.

As the eighth seeds, Pat Lam’s men, who registered four bonus point victories in the pool stages, will now meet the top seeds Gloucester at Kingsholm in early April.

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Connacht last played Gloucester in Pool 6 of the 2011/12 Heineken Cup when the Cherry and Whites claimed narrow wins in back-to-back December games, triumphing 14-10 at the Sportsground and taking a 23-19 verdict back at Kingsholm.


1 – Gloucester (winners of Pool 5)
2 – Exeter Chiefs (winners of Pool 2)
3 – Newport Gwent Dragons (winners of Pool 3)
4 – London Irish (winners of Pool 1)
5 – Edinburgh (winners of Pool 4)
6 – Cardiff Blues (best pool runners-up)
7 – Newcastle Falcons (second best pool runners-up)
8 – CONNACHT (third best pool runners-up)

Following this evening’s Challenge Cup semi-final draw, the winners of the Gloucester v Connacht clash will have home advantage against Exeter Chiefs or Newcastle Falcons. The other last-four fixture will be London Irish or Edinburgh against the Newport Gwent Dragons or Cardiff Blues.

The semi-finals could see a rematch between Connacht and Exeter, the sides having faced off twice in the pool stages including last Sunday’s 33-24 loss for Lam’s side in Galway.


Gloucester v CONNACHT
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons
Newport Gwent Dragons v Cardiff Blues
London Irish v Edinburgh

– Matches to be played over the weekend of April 2/3/4/5


– The winners of the first named quarter-final in each semi-final pairing will have home country advantage

Semi-final 1: Gloucester/CONNACHT v Exeter Chiefs/Newcastle Falcons

Semi-final 2: London Irish/Edinburgh v Newport Gwent Dragons/Cardiff Blues

– Matches to be played over the weekend of April 17/18/19