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Heavy Defeat For Connacht Eagles In Jersey
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Heavy Defeat For Connacht Eagles In Jersey

Heavy Defeat For Connacht Eagles In Jersey

It was a tough day for Nigel Carolan’s young Connacht Eagles side who were well beaten by Jersey – 52-12 – in round 4 of the British & Irish Cup.

Following a heavy defeat to the very physical and experienced Jersey side last week at the Sportsground, the Eagles knew the challenge they faced away from home.

Jersey scored eight tries to the Eagles' two to put them in second place in a difficult pool in which Nigel Carolan's charges have suffered four defeats.  

The westerners went ahead early in the match with second row Cillian Gallagher taking a scoring pass from the fit-again Api Pewhairangi. Out-half and captain Conor McKeon kicked the conversion to put the Eagles 7-0 up.

Jersey did not take long to respond, however, and when a rolling maul was dragged down, the hosts were awarded a penalty try and Connacht Academy flanker Rory Moloney was sin-binned.

Worryingly for the Connacht young guns, the pace of Jersey winger Tom Howe and fine support play from his colleagues earned him a hat-trick of tries within 10 minutes.

Oli Evans set up the first, skipper Alex Rae provided the scoring pass on the next occasion with a delightful back-handed flick, and then Sami Fisilau and Tommy Spinks were the set-up man for the hat-trick score.

Brendan Cope added a try of his own, dancing through as referee Jake Makepeace played advantage for a maul offence, and the out-half struck three conversions to open up a substantial 31-7 half-time lead.

The Eagles struck first after the break when prop Conor Kenny finished off a flowing team move up the right flank, taking a pass from his front row colleague Pat O'Toole, and Jersey were frustrated by some determined defence throughout the third quarter in spite of a mounting penalty count.

Eventually the home side broke through, with Howe and Jack Moates setting up replacement Lewis Robling for the sixth try. The Jersey forwards had the final say, with rolling mauls leading to touchdowns from the back row duo of Gary Graham and James Freeman.

Referee: Jack Makepeace (England)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Rich Lane; Tom Howe, Oli Evans, Mark Cooke, Ross Adair; Brendan Cope, Sami Fisilau; Nacho Lancuba, Nick Selway, Oliver Tomaszczyk, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Will Rowlands, Alex Rae (capt), James Freeman, Tommy Spinks.

Replacements used: Dave Markham for Kolo'ofa'i, Gary Graham for Rae (both half-time), Lewis Robling for Cope, Jack Moates for Fisilau, Martin Garcia-Veiga for Selway (all 45 mins), Danny Herriott for Tomaszczyk, Sam Lockwood for Lancuba (both 52).

Away Team

Ciaran Gaffney; Adam Leavy, Api Pewhairangi, Cormac Brennan, Ed O'Keeffe; Conor McKeon (capt), Stephen Kerins; Jacob Walshe, Pat O'Toole, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Cillian Gallagher, Marc Kelly, Rory Moloney, Stephen McVeigh.

Replacements used: Aidan Moynihan for O'Keeffe (50), Juan Anaya Lazaro for O'Toole, Cian Romaine for Gallagher (both 60), Jack Keegan for McKeon, Matthew Burke for Kenny, Matthew Cosgrove for McVeigh (all 67), Ryan Feehily for Kerins (68).

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Penalty try, Tom Howe 3, Brendan Cope, Lewis Robling, Gary Graham, James Freeman; Cons: Brendan Cope 3, Mark Cooke 3

Away Team

Tries: Conor Kenny, Cillian Gallagher; Con: Conor McKeon