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CA Brive seek to bounce right back from a dismal start to their EPCR Challenge Cup campaign as they welcome Connacht Rugby on Friday.
Connacht picked up a sound win last week, beating Newcastle Falcons 22-8, while Brive failed to muster a single point in a 41-0 loss at the hands of Cardiff Rugby.
The Pool A clash kicks off at Stade Amedee-Domenech at 20:00 (UK and Irish time) on Friday, and can be watched on epcrugby.tv or FloRugby.
Connacht director of rugby Andy Friend: “What we do know is they tend not to travel well – testament to a 41-0 beating by Cardiff – but they tend to be very proud of their home record. So it will be interesting to see what side they pick, hopefully their best because we want to play against their best and prove ourselves.”
Nine Matches ✅
Here are the #ChallengeCupRugby standings after round 1️⃣ pic.twitter.com/F2JK32nXjt
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 11, 2022
- Not only did CA Brive fail to muster a point against Cardiff Rugby, they also didn’t manage a shot on goal.
- CA Brive conceded 21 penalties in the opening round – more than any other team.
- CA Brive made the fewest carries in the round (66) and were the only side not to make a clean break.
- They stole seven Cardiff lineout throws and no team managed more than four lineout steals in all of last season’s competition. Renger van Eerten and Matthieu Voisin sole three and two respectively.
- Connacht made 140 carries against Newcastle Falcons, a round high.
- They only won 33 per cent of scrums on their own feed, the joint lowest in the round, equal with Glasgow Warriors.
- Connacht scored two tries against Newcastle after six or more phases; no other team scored as many after so many phases.
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Connacht Rugby defeated CA Brive 31-24 at the French side’s Stade Amédée-Domenech in the EPCR Challenge Cup on Friday night.
The Irish province were dominant throughout most of the match, racking up a bonus-point win, David Hawkshaw, Tom Daly, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Shane Delahunt all scoring tries.
Connacht benefitted from former player Abraham Papali’I picking up a red card on 20 minutes, yet they still staged a late fightback to put visiting hearts in mouths with tries from Tom Raffy and Kevin Fabien (2).
Connacht’s first try came before Papali’I’s red, with Hawkshaw finishing well and Conor Fitzgerald kicking the first of his four conversions.
Daly followed up with Connacht’s second on half an hour, and they added another when Brive went down to 13 due to a yellow for Tevita Ratuva, Kilgallen crossing in the corner.
First-half control from @ConnachtRugby 💪
Second-half surge from @CABCLRUGBY 👀
📺 Extended Highlights on our YouTube now 👇
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 16, 2022
The comfort for Connacht seemed set to continue in the second period when hooker Delahunt finished early on in the half, with Fitzgerald adding the extras again.
Brive’s first try then came through Raffy on the hour mark, but a Fitzgerald penalty soon after seemed as though it would kill off the game.
But 20-year-old centre Fabien had other ideas, scoring two brilliant tries in the left corner in a nine-minute flurry to leave the score 31-24 and set up a nervy last five minutes for Connacht.
But the Irish province held on, and claimed all the points on offer as they made it two wins from two in Pool A.
The two meet again in Round 3, this time at The Sportsground in Galway, on January 14.
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