JOB done. Barring a highly unlikely home defeat to Oyonnax in the final round, Connacht are now odds on to fill one of the a home quarter final positions in this competition after they backed up a key away win in Brive in round three with a steam-rolling second half drubbing of the same opposition on Saturday at the Sportsground.
Matt Healy’s four tries were a highlight, the perfect kicking of Jack Carty, the lead from the front tour de force from Eoghan Masterson and the ever improving chemistry between new signing Pita Ahki and the Ireland capped Bundee Aki also made their way into the post game chats in cars, restaurants and bars. From the doom and gloom of Parma to a better all round ambience. No crisis here.
Connacht’s pool in this competition has been a gift for sure, all three opponents have only half heartedly committed to proceedings and the Westerners have proven to be an overwhelming opponent in such circumstances. Sure, Worcester, might still be a tricky test in round five but on current form, Connacht can go there with confidence in search of a win that will keep their new objective in mind. A top two seed.
There are five pools in this competition, all pool winners advance along with three runners up. The best four ranked pool winners based on points accumulated in their six games, get home advantage at quarter final time. Connacht are seven points clear of Worcester now and look uncatchable for first, they also look certain to be among the top four seeds, but can they go a little further and get in the top two. If they do a home semi final is on the horizon.
Make no mistake about it, Connacht are a very real contender in this competition now.Newcastle are another, unbeaten and chasing a first trophy in 20 years, emerging French big spenders Pau are targeting it as well as the final venue is within a few hours of their home ground, while Edinburgh look strong under new coach Richard Cockerell and are aiming to make some new history too.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.