Completely heartbroken for Connacht as they took an 18-point lead and were starved to death as Leicester Tigers snatched victory in the final game of a nine-trial thriller on the field.
Efere Mathieu Renal and his officials ruled that Tongan winger Jose Soumaki had not touched a whitewash to the left corner by John Porch in the final minute of the match, before being touched with only millimeters, which ultimately proved that replays were involved. Was. right decision.
Connacht will have to work harder, but the investigation will need to focus on how they failed to close the game when they scored 28 points without an answer to move on to 18, as the game was off to a disastrous start. After recovering, he had reached his last quarter.
Andy Friend hoped his men would keep an early marker and take control of the game as Leicester adjust to the playing field – 46th The place they visited in the competition – but Konacht found themselves 10–0 down after just ten minutes.
Early blood in the scrum went to Leicester with Captain Ellis Genge, but Finlay Bilham and Connacht compromised their work and downplayed that threat.
But that initial dominance was used well by Leicester. Two penalties in the right corner followed just three minutes after a clean knockdown from Ollie Cheesum gave him the momentum and Joe Hayes got a second drive to score. Freddie Burns was off target with a conversion from the right.
A lost Connacht scrum provided the Tigers the stage for their second attempt in which Burns sent down Kinney Murimurivalu with a clean chip to the left and the big Fijian tried full-back Tyrann O’Halloran to make another unconverted effort. plowed through.
At that stage there was a real danger of the game slipping away from Connacht, with a missed penalty from Jacques Carty just to the right of the positions to help ease home support concerns in a reduced capacity of 3,064.
But gradually Connacht settled. He found parity in scrum and refused to be bothered by a poor start with Carty giving him good field position and showing great ambition to go into the corners with penalties.
He was rewarded by one of them, Matt Healy coming off the left wing after a lineout in that corner and fed O’Halloran, who timed his sprint to perfection to score next to the positions. . Carti reduced the gap to 10-7 after 16 minutes.
After this Connacht’s confidence grew. Carti sent three penalties to the left corner in the span of five minutes. The first two were dealt by the Tigers but Connacht scored from the third attempt. Carty showed a great hand in the move and a brilliant offload from Bundy Aki sent Sian Prendergast to his second attempt at the tournament, who also scored in a home win at Stade Française last month.
Carti added a conversion for a 14-10 lead at the break, avoiding a massive burst from Murimurivalu when he went through three tackles before Healy helped the mighty winger stop.
Connacht seized the initiative after the restart and took the game to the leaders of the Premiership and was rewarded again when they went to the corner with Tigers flanker Tommy Reiffel, binned as French referee Mathieu Renal. After leaving, he eventually lost patience with the mounting penalty count.
Connacht hit for 14 points with extra man, sniping after 44 minutes for a converted effort by scrum-half Kieran Marmion and then another lineout for the corner after escaping a triple tackle for O’Halloran. Brilliantly recycled to make a second attempt. To touch down, Carty’s fourth conversion made it 28-10.
But the Tigers, who lost their winning start to the season at Wasps last weekend, made a comeback with South Africa’s Jasper Wiese.
He was back in contention with a match try, an 18-pass movement that began inside his half in the right, went down to the left corner, crossed the opposite and came back again for Murimurivalu’s score. Burns converted after 56 minutes to make it 28-17.
They arrived screaming eight minutes from time when replacement hooker Charlie Claire scored after a penalty in the corner, with Burns again converting from the left to set up a nervous finish for Konach.
And Leicester duly ended a comeback to deliver a brutal defeat as they went wide with an advantage and Soumaki took the match-winner to the Stade Française to secure a knockout spot and move to Paris next weekend. The match-winner left to require the result against. He has to reach that point for the first time in history.
Scorers: Connacht: Tris: T O’Halloran (2), C Prendergast, K Marmian. Cons: Jay Carty (4).
Leicester Tigers: Trice: K Murimurivalu (2), J Hayes, C Clare, H Soumaki. Cons: F. Burns (2).
Connacht: T O’Halloran; J Porch, S. Arnold, B. Aki, M. Healy (T Farrell 61); J Carty, K Marmion (C Blade 62); M Burke (T Tuimaugi 62), S Delhunt (D Heffernan 48), F Belham (J Aungier 49, Burke 66); O Dowling (U Dillon 53), Ann Murray; C Prendergast, C Oliver, J Butler (P Boyle 62).
Replacements: D Heffernan, T Tuimougi, Jay Aungier, Yu Dillon, P Boyle, C Blade, C Fitzgerald, T Farrell.
Leicester Tigers: B. Hegarty; F Steward, M Scott, JP Sosino (D Kelly 48), K Murimuriwau (H Soumaki 62); F. Burns, R. Wigglesworth (J van Portvaliet 60); E Ganz, Ann Dolly (Céclair 48), Jay Hayes (Ann Lettiga 68); H Wells, C Green; Hey Chesam, T. Raphael, J. Vise.
Replacements: C. Claire, J. Whitcombe, N. Letigaga, T. Manj, F. van Wyk, J. van Purvliet, D. Kelly, H. Soumaki.
Referee: Mathieu Renal (France).