Superb displays from Connacht and Gloucester on Friday night meant that Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins crashed out of this year’s Heineken Cup tournament.
In the west of Ireland, Connacht produced a gritty, brutal performance in typically horrendous Galway weather to stop Harlequins from getting the win they needed to go through to the next round. There was some great work from the Connacht back row with Man of the Match John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa and George Naoupu working incredibly hard at the breakdown. A dogged effort from every man in a green shirt, plus three crucial penalty kicks at goal from Niall O’Connor, meant Connacht picked up their first win since September, and their first ever in the Heineken Cup.
Meanwhile in Gloucester, the Cherry & Whites produced one of their best performances of the season in a loose, thrilling encounter against French champions Toulouse. A mixture of errors and brilliance, Gloucester ran in four tries, including a brace for the rapid Jonny May and another wonderful try from Charlie Sharples, whilst Toulouse’s Fijian winger Timoci Matanavou produced a clanger early on to concede the first try before scoring a brace himself. Gloucester’s bonus point win meant that Toulouse faced a nervous few minutes waiting for news from Galway, but have made it through to the quarter-finals.
How much did you enjoy tonight’s matches? Let us know.