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The stakes are getting higher for Connacht’s European qualification hopes as they head into familiar territory for tomorrow night’s joust with Montpellier (7pm).
France once again proved a happy hunting ground for Connacht with their victory over Montpellier securing them pole position in pool 2.
Connacht head to Worcester for Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup fixture - the first of two back-to-back clashes which are expected to decide who advances to the quarter-finals.
Connacht head to Worcester for Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup fixture - the first of two back-to-back clashes which are expected to decide who advances to the quarter-finals. With only the five pool winners qualifying, where they will be joined by three Heineken Cup group runners-up, Connacht are in the driving seat at this stage of the competition.
Connacht’s season could hinge on tonight’s big clash with French side Montpellier at the Galway Sportsground (7pm). A victory for either side would ensure a top pool position and a Quarter-Final in this year’s revamped Amlin Challenge Cup competition; a defeat for Connacht would consign them to their constant struggle at the bottom of the Magners League. To top the pool - the first time since 1998 - and bag a Quarter-Final spot would provide Connacht with a home fixture against one of the best Heineken Cup sides in Europe. It is a massive incentive and would also give them some much-needed momentum to take them through the next couple of months.
Connacht travel to Madrid this weekend looking to put the icing on the cake in their final Amlin Challenge Cup pool fixture. Unbeaten and having already qualified, Connacht are now looking at a bonus-winning result to ensure a home quarter-final. And depending on Wasps’ result in France last night, they could even be looking at gaining the top seed for the knock-out stages. Olympus Rugby XV Madrid should not present a banana skin to this current crop of Connacht players, who last week showed considerable focus and nouse in disposing of Montpellier’s efforts to grab the top qualifying spot in pool 2. And coach Michael Bradley is taking nothing for granted, “travelling strong” for this final group fixture.