Match Centre: Champions Cup: Connacht 27-10 Bristol Bears

JJ Hanrahan was part of the winning Connacht side
JJ Hanrahan was part of the winning Connacht side

Connacht 27-10 Bristol Bears, Pool 1, Dexcom Stadium

Bristol Bears' campaign in the ongoing Investec Champions Cup came to an end as they were defeated by Connacht with a 27-10 margin in their Pool 1 encounter at Dexcom Stadium.

Bristol managed a solitary win from the four matches as they finished at the bottom of Pool 1 while Connacht will have to wait for the game against Saracens and Lyon to know their fate in the competition.

Connacht made a stunning start with Shayne Bolton diving over after a break from the midfield but the conversion drifted wide as they raced to a 5-0 lead.

Their momentum took a boost as Bristol lost second row Josh Caulfield to red card for a dangerous tackle on prop Finlay Bealham in the 14th minute and six minutes later Kyle Sinckler was also sin-binned with the Irish province making full use of the numerical advantage with tries from Jack Aungier and Caolin Blade.

A penalty kick from AJ MacGinty got Bristol off the mark but they still were trailing by 14 points at the end of an one sided opening half.

Connacht punished Bristol straightaway in the second half as Andrew Smith dived in the corner going past a number of Bristol defenders to claim the much needed bonus point and Jack Carty improved to make it 24-3.

As the closing stage of the game was nearing, Carty with a penalty goal extended Connacht's lead to 27-3 but conceded a penalty try in the added minutes that also resulted in a yellow card for Joe Joyce.

Team line up:

Connacht: O'Halloran; Smith, Hawkshaw, Aki, Bolton; Hanrahan, Blade (c); Buckley, McElroy, Bealham, Murray, Joyce, Prendergast, Hurley-Langton, Butler.

Reserves: Heffernan, Dooley, Aungier, Dowling, Oliver, McDonald, Carty, McNulty.

Bristol Bears: Malins; Ravouvou, Vakatawa, Janse van Rensburg, Ibitoye; MacGinty, Randal; Woolmore, Oghre, Sinckler, Caulfield, Batley, Luatua, Harding (c), Bradbury.

Reserves: Capon, Grahamslaw, Lahiff, Owen, Thomas, Marmion, Williams, O'Conor.


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table