The coup fails for Benetton, who in Galway with Connacht fights but collects the defeat by conceding six goals. Good debut from 1′ for Umaga, Watson, Zanon in try and Menoncello in the final. Rhyno Smith injured, red for Scrafton.
Intense early stages of the game and Connacht immediately takes the lead. Carty picks up Murray’s run who punches the host defense and crushes in the goal. Carty transforms. The Lions try to fight back, but due to some precision errors they are unable to break through the 22 meters of the Irish. Until Benetton Rugby’s first goal arrives. From a ruck the oval escapes Connacht’s possession, Scrafton is good at quickly serving Marcus Watson who flies free on the left wing and scores. Umaga transforms and in the first half it’s back to a draw.
Then Mendy has to take Smith’s place, out with a physical problem. Connacht takes strength from his scrum and gets a good touch in the 22 meters of the Treviso team. And from the lineout Aki gives a big oval to Boyle who scores. Carty converts. The defense of Duvenage and associates holds firm and does not give way. Meanwhile Alongi has to go out due to a shoulder injury.
After the Lions defense committed a positioning irregularity in the lineout, Carty took the lead and offered Connacht three more points. The first half thus ends on 17-7 for the Irish.
The second half begins and Gallo takes over from Nemer. Connacht immediately wants to sign the third try and Bealham crushes the oval between the posts. Carty transforms and the home advantage expands to 24-7. The Lions have to react and go back up the field with a good speed action led by Padovani and Umaga. Gallo nearly crushes the oval to the ground, because the oval is held aloft by Boyle.
The momentum is in any case favorable to the green-and-whites, Duvenage opens to Marco Zanon who marks on the ground and Umaga adds two more points for Benetton Rugby. There is a quarter of the match left and Garbisi enters for captain Duvenage. Then Scrafton is sent off by the referee for a high and dangerous tackle. Connacht with the extra man takes advantage of it and Blade slips away for the fourth heavy marking of the Irish. Carty makes no mistake and Connacht extends definitively to 31-14.
Riera, Lazzaroni and Izekor enter for Zanon, Cannone and Pettinelli in the last finals. There is also the debut of Frangini in green and white, replacing Nicotera. The Lions fight to the end and Tommaso Menoncello swallows all the home defense for the green-and-whites’ third try. Umaga this time takes the post. In the final try from Connacht’s drive signed by Tierney-Martin and Carty sets the final score at 38-19 for the Galway franchise.