Cell C Sharks Pay The Price Against Sub Standard Connacht

The Cell C Sharks travelled to The Sportsground, Galway to face Connacht with numerous changes made to their matchday 23. Connacht did enough in the first half to win 24-07 despite a better performance by the Cell C Sharks in the second half.

A nervous start by the Cell C Sharks led to several unforced errors made by the visitors. Connacht pinned the Cell C Sharks initially in their own half, however, the Cell C Sharks clawed their way back into the game as the hosts were also guilty of making unforced errors. Connacht scored the first try of the match during the last seconds of the first quarter to lead 05-00.

Connacht started to organise their attack in the second quarter and scored two unopposed tries to stretch their lead to 19-00. At this stadium, Connacht is dominant in all facets of play while the Cell C Sharks is visibly a side that is not gelling, a side that did not have a lot of time together.

The Cell C Sharks made wholesale changes early in the second half which had the wanted effect. The Cell C Sharks started to physically challenge Connacht and became dominant. A try was a deserved reward for the Cell C Sharks' increased intensity and accuracy on the attack. Connacht led 24-07 with 20 minutes to play.

The fourth quarter was uneventful, spoilt by several unforced errors made by both sides. The Cell C Sharks, who were the dominant team at that stage, scored a try late in the match to lose 12-24. Connacht will be happy with the bonus point win while the Cell C Sharks would not spend much time to sulk the loss.

Connacht: Tries: Conor Oliver, Cathal Forde (2), Tiernan O’Halloran. Conversion: Jack Carty (2).
Cell C Sharks: Tries: Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Conversion: Lionel Cronje

How it happened:
19:48 Conor Oliver scored Connacht's first try of the match from the back of a 5m lineout-maul. (05-00)
23:17 Cathal Forde scored the hosts' second try following a clever chip from within their own half, which was collected by Connacht and Forde the final link. (12-00)
39:39 Tiernan O’Halloran walks over the Cell C Sharks tryline. Wave after wave of attacks launched by Connacht sucked the defence of Cell C Sharks in to create a massive gap out wide. (19-00)
43:23 Shane Delahunt (Connacht) was shown a yellow card.
55:24 Cathal Forde blocked a kick from the Cell C Sharks to fall on the ball for his second try. (24-00)
60:46 Rohan Janse van Rensburg bulldoze his way over the tryline for the Cell C Sharks' first try. (24-07)
77:54 Dian Bleuler forced his way over the tryline. (24-12)


Connacht: 15. Tiernan O’Halloran, 14. John Porch, 13. Tom Farrell, 12. Cathal Forde, 11. Mack Hansen, 10. Jack Carty (c), 9. Kieran Marmion, 8. Shamus Hurley-Langton, 7. Conor Oliver, 6. Josh Murphy, 5. Darragh Murray, 4. Oisín Dowling, 3. Finlay Bealham, 2. Shane Delahunt, 1. Denis Buckley. Replacements: 16. Dylan Tierney-Martin, 17. Jordan Duggan, 18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19. Leva Fifita, 20. Cian Prendergast, 21. Caolin Blade, 22. Conor Fitzgerald, 23. Byron Ralston.

Cell C Sharks: 15. Anthony Volmink, 14. Yaw Penxe, 13. Murray Koster, 12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11. Marnus Potgieter, 10. Nevaldo Fleurs, 9. Cameron Wright, 8. Celimpilo Gumede, 7. Henco Venter, 6. James Venter, 5. Reniel Hugo (c), 4. Thembelani Bholi, 3. Carlü Sadie, 2. Fezo Mbatha, 1. Ntuthuko Mchunu. Replacements: 16. Kerron van Vuuren, 17. Dian Bleuler, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Ockie Barnard, 20. Corne Rahl, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Lionel Cronje, 23. Ethan Hooker.