Connacht = Champions Cup

Fri, Apr 22, 2016

Champions Cup rugby was the seasonal goal for Connacht. They can now tick it off. For the first time in the history of the European campaign, Connacht have qualified on their own merit for this elite competition.

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Champions Cup beckons for Connacht with one more win

Fri, Apr 15, 2016

Win on Saturday, and Connacht will achieve their seasonal ambition to qualify for next season's Champions Cup. That is the huge carrot for Pat Lam's men when they host Munster in this vital Guinness Pro 12 fixture in the Galway Sportsground (7.15pm). And Lam says his squad is an a "great space" to do just that.

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Confident Connacht have a "real chance" in France

Fri, Apr 08, 2016

The only province without a trophy, Connacht truly believe this could be their year. As they head to France to face Grenoble in Saturday's European Challenge Cup quarter-finals (8pm), all Irish eyes are focused on Pat Lam's blossoming side.

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Rugby: Pro 12 Connacht's victory celebrations cut short as Ulster test looms

Fri, Apr 01, 2016

What a week for Connacht Rugby. Top of the league with four Pro 12 games remaining, Connacht have had precious little time to celebrate a momentous victory over Leinster as they head to Belfast to face Ulster this evening.

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All Mayo decider to find junior cup winners

Fri, Mar 25, 2016

Come full time on Sunday afternoon in the Sportsground in Galway one thing for sure will happen — the Connacht Junior Cup will be heading north to summer in Mayo. Will it be swinging left in Partry and heading to Westport to sit alongside a glittering array of silverware that the Bulls have picked up this year, most recently the Cawley Cup to go with the Connacht Junior League 1A title. Or will it keep heading north and be welcomed home to Heffernan Park to give some glory to what has been a great season by Ballina.

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Connacht 'buzzing' ahead of top-of-table-clash with Leinster

Fri, Mar 25, 2016

An interprovincial that is also top of the table - it does not come much bigger or better for Connacht Rugby. With just five Guinness Pro 12 fixtures remaining, Connacht face Leinster in the Galway Sportsground on Saturday (5.15pm) in front of a capacity 7,300 crowd, live on both TG4 and Sky Sport, and with the world's top referee Nigel Owens in charge.

Understandably the Sportsground was sold out by early Wednesday morning, including an extra 1400 seats specially for this encounter as Connacht bid to continue their lead at the top of the Pro 12 and Leinster, just a point behind, look to overtake them.

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Westport and Ballina keep up winning ways

Fri, Feb 26, 2016

Both of the two Mayo sides battling it out for top spot in the Connacht Junior League picked up wins last weekend. Westport are leading the way at the top of the table on 35 points two ahead of second placed Ballina. The Bulls had a six point win on the road in Monastery Field over Connemara last weekend, with David Keane crossing the whitewash twice, once in each half, and Séan Tobin kicking two penalites to keep his side's nose in front down the closing stretch. This weekend Westport will be on the road again where they take on more Galway opposition in the shape of fourth placed Ballinasloe. When the sides met earlier in the league it finished with both sides locked together on a scoreline of 13-13.

Ballina warmed up for their Connacht Junior Cup semi-final this Sunday against Galwegians with a big 34-10 win over Buccaneers in Dubarry Park in Athlone to keep them in touch with Westport. Ballina got tries from Alex Corduff, Chris O'Neill, Fionn Mulligan and Colm Quinn, with Quinn and Mickey Murphy also kicking a couple of conversions each in the game. This Sunday represents a great chance for the north Mayo outfit to make it an all Mayo decider in the final of the big cup competition in the province and having beaten Westport twice already this year, the Ballina men will be full of confidence of taking home the cup that Westport won last year.

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Connacht continue to learn lessons as the stay top

Fri, Feb 26, 2016

It is another big weekend for Connacht Rugby. Still sitting on top of the Pro 12 table, Connacht are preparing to step it up for the visit of former champions Ospreys to the Sportsground on Saturday (7.35pm).

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Connacht did everything to keep Henshaw

Fri, Feb 19, 2016

Connacht left no stone unturned in their bid to stop Robbie Henshaw from heading to Dublin. The 22-years-old Connacht and Ireland centre confirmed his departure from his home province on Sunday, before signing with Leinster on Monday evening for the next three seasons. Connacht coach Pat Lam says Connacht, with the help of the IRFU, did everything possible to keep Henshaw at the Sportsground, but in the end it was the Athlone native's decision to leave.

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Back to league action after cup break

Fri, Feb 19, 2016

After a few weeks of action in the Connacht Junior Cup it is back to the home ranch for the sides in the Connacht Junior League this weekend. Last weekend Westport booked their place in a third successive Connacht Junior Cup final with a 30 point win over Tuam last Sunday in Carrowholly. There could yet be an all Mayo final with Ballina currently waiting for Monivea and Galwegians to get to grips with each other this weekend to see who they will face in the semi-final on Sunday week.

But back to the action this coming weekend in the league, and league leaders Westport will be looking to get to further strengthen their grasp on top spot when they take on bottom side Connemara in Clifden on Sunday. Westport are currently sitting two points in front of Ballina in the league standings with both side having three games to go.

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Connacht sign off 16-week run with Pro 12 and European targets ticked

Fri, Feb 05, 2016

Connacht players are taking a well deserved holiday this week after a perfect finish to an exhaustive run of 16 games on the trot. A bonus-point victory over top-of-the-table Scarlets ensured Connacht remain in the Guinness Pro 12 top four, and are level on points with Scarlets, who continue to hold pole position due to a superior win count.

It is has been something of a journey for Pat Lam's squad since Matt Healy, who is currently undergoing return-to-play protocols for concussion in Saturday's fixture, marked his 50th appearance in Connacht's five-try bonus win over Zebre in October. Since then Connacht achieved a milestone victory at Liberty Stadium, home wins over Edinburgh and Treviso, an historic trek into Siberia for a first European fixture in sub zero temperatures, a first Thomond Park victory over Munster in 29 years, and qualification for the Challenge Cup quarter-finals. It has not been all plain sailing - disappointing defeats to Cardiff, erratic away performances against Leinster, Scarlets and Brive, while an injury-ravaged squad of just 22 fit players lost to Newcastle in England.

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Connacht aim to consolidate top four position against leaders Scarlets

Fri, Jan 29, 2016

Connacht wrap up a tough run of 16 games on the trot this weekend with high hopes of remaining in the Guinness Pro 12 top four. Top-of-the-table Scarlets are the visitors to the Sportsground on Saturday (3pm), and Pat Lam will be urging his squad for one big push before they can take a well-earned break after this unprecedented four months of non-stop competitive action.

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