Connacht strengthen their quarter-final hopes with 66-21 win over Zebre

Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran plundered a pair of tries
Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran plundered a pair of tries

Connacht 66-21 Zebre, The Sportsground

Fly-half John Cooney contributed with 21 points as Connacht ran a 10-try riot to trounce Zebre by 66-21 at The Sportsground on Saturday as the close on a quarter-final berth in the European Champions Cup.

This was also Zebre's second massive defeat against an Irish team recently as they were thrashed by Leinster 70-6 in their Pro 12 encounter last week.

Wing Matt Healy got Connacht off the mark with a first minute try with Cooney adding the conversion but Zebre bounced back brilliantly with back-to-back tries through flanker Johan Meyer and number eight Federico Ruzza.

However, what transpired in the remaining of the first half was sheer destruction for Zebre as the conceded five tries with two of it coming after a double yellow card.

Cooney (18'), fullback Tiernan O'Halloran (23'), prop Finlay Bealham (27'), scrum-half Kieran Marmion (36') and Craig Ronaldson (39') were the contributors with the fly-half converting four of it. Pat Lam's men went into half-time with a 40-14 lead.

The first quarter of the second half saw Connacht extending their dominance with Healy, O'Halloran and Marmion crossing over for the second time in the game while replacement Caolin Blade capped off a fantastic game for the home team with a 66th minute touch and thereby completing a comfortable 45-point win for them.

Connacht top pool 2 table with 18 points and are closely followed by Wasps with 17.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table