Connacht 27-24 Gloucester Rugby, The Sportsground
Robin Copeland scored the decisive try in the final minute as Connacht registered a 27-24 win over Gloucester Rugby to keep their hopes alive in the ongoing Heineken Champions Cup.
Connacht started the game with setback as Eoin McKeon was sin-binned for a deliberate trip in the 10th minute but Gloucester failed to make use of the numerical advantage. Instead, the home side got their first points with Conor Fitzgerald kicking a penalty goal in the 15th minute.
The 29th minute saw Gloucester reduced to 14-men temporarily with Todd Gleave yellow-carded in the 29th minute for repeated infringements and as a result Connacht stretched their lead to 10 points with Caolin Blade's try and Fitzgerald followed it with the extras to make the scoreline 10-0.
Despite being down by a player, the Cherry and Whites reduced the deficit to three points at the end of the first half with Gerbrandt Grobler crossing the whitewash in the 34th minute and Billy Twelvetrees kicking the conversion.
Gloucester were quick to get off the block in the second half with Mark Atkinson strolling over the line to take the visitors to a lead for the first time but it was short-lived as Fitzgerald's penalty at the end of the third quarter to make it 13-12.
The Premiership looked in total control with tries from Lewis Ludlow (66') and Atkinson (69') to take their lead to 13-24 but their chances were hampered with Ludlow yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on with five minutes left in the game and Connacht seized the advantage with Shane Delahunt and Copeland scoring tries to complete a three-point victory.
The win has taken Connacht to the third place in Pool 5 with eight points while Gloucester are at second place with nine points.