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Top two clash in Pool 3

Thursday 10th January 2019

3:18 pm (GMT)

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Top two clash in Pool 3

Connacht Rugby have the chance to overtake Pool 3 leaders Sale Sharks with a victory in Galway on Friday night.

  • Sale Sharks have won all five of their meetings with Connacht, although their two victories in Galway during that run both came by seven points or fewer.
  • Connacht have won 17 of their last 19 pool stage home games. However, both of them defeats came against English opposition.
  • Sale have won both of their away games this season, not since 2007/08 have they gone unbeaten away from home in the Challenge Cup pool stage.
  • Sale’s Sam James has made five try assists this season. no player has made more after four rounds.

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Connacht edge to victory despite Sale fightback

Saturday 12th January 2019

6:24 pm (GMT)

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Connacht edge to victory despite Sale fightback

James Mitchell scores a try for Connacht Rugby

A penalty by Aussie replacement David Horwitz eight minutes from time helped Connacht to a nail-biting 20-18 win over European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 3 rivals Sale Sharks.

The win leaves Sale on top by virtue of a superior points difference ahead of the final pool games next Saturday when Sale host Perpignan and Connacht travel to Bordeaux.

Connacht had begun much the stronger and built a 17-0 advantage inside the opening quarter courtesy of tries by Australian centre Kyle Godwin and scrum half James Mitchell straight from the resulting kick-off after a hack ahead.

Fly-half Jack Carty landed both conversions to add to an early penalty and Sale were desperate for a response which duly arrived just before the break as England winger Chris Ashton rounded off some crisp approach work.

South African fly-half Faf de Klerk converted and was inspirational in the fightback as he crossed for a try ten minutes into the second half before landing two penalties to give Sale an 18-17 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

In a tense finale it was Horwitz who landed the knockout blow for Connacht to set up what promises to be an exciting climax next weekend.

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