Guinness PRO14 Challenge Cup wrap: Benetton and Connacht alive and kicking

Daniel Barnes
13 January 2019

Share this article

The European Challenge Cup delivered a stunning array of results as a number of Guinness PRO14 sides showed their mettle against a plethora of Europe’s finest.

Both Benetton Rugby and Connacht kept their quarter-final ambitions alive with victories over Agen and Sale Sharks respectively.

  • A late David Horwitz penalty threw the cat among the pigeons in Pool Three as Connacht sealed a dramatic 20-18 victory against leaders Sale Sharks, leaving both with 17 points heading into the final round
  • Benetton are in contention to reach the Guinness PRO14 Final Series for the first time in their history and their good domestic form is being replicated in Europe, with a hat-trick from Tito Tebaldi helping them overcome Agen 38-24
  • Ospreys saw their hopes of winning their Challenge Cup pool come to an end as they were edged out 20-18 by Worcester Warriors, Keelan Giles and Olly Cracknell dotting down for the Welsh outfit

What they said:

Connacht head coach Andy Friend said: “I thought [in] the first half, we showed some really good intent with the football.

“I thought defensively, we fronted up. They’ve got big, powerful men and they kept trying to truck in through the line.

“I thought the way Ulty (Ultan Dillane); the way he carried and the way he defended was the best I’ve seen him this year, so that was really pleasing.

“We’re absolutely stoked to have this bloke here with us for the next couple of years.”

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke said: “Our execution and accuracy wasn’t good enough in the second half.

“The game seemed to get away from us and we didn’t take our opportunities.

“In the context of this competition, it’s a blow but not to our season overall.”

Best of social media

Share this article