Brave Connacht fall short against Gloucesterin European Cup play-off

Connacht's Jack Carty scores his sides second try during the European Champions Cup Play-off at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester.
Connacht's Jack Carty scores his sides second try during the European Champions Cup Play-off at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester.
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Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys praised his side’s character after they secured a nail-biting 40-32 win over Connacht after extra time at Kingsholm on Sunday.

Charlie Sharples, Bill Meakes, Ross Moriarty, Darren Dawiduik and Jonny May scored tries for Gloucester with Greig Laidlaw adding two penalties and three conversions. James Hook also kicked a penalty.

Matt Healy (two), John Cooney and Jack Carty were the Connacht try scorers with the latter kicking two penalties and three conversions.

Humphreys said: “What a game to sum up, we made more mistakes today than we have over the last six months but once again we showed our never-say-die character.

“We’ve had a lot of tight games recently and, in close games, we rely on our experienced players to make big decisions at crucial times.

“I thought we had lost it and all credit to Connacht who have had a number of hard games recently, they were fully committed throughout.”

In spite of the defeat, Connacht coach Pat Lam was hugely complimentary of his side’s performance.

“I’m absolutely proud of the boys but absolutely gutted for them,” he said. “Young outside-half Jack Carty was outstanding out there as it’s been a tough roller coaster for him in recent weeks.

“When we went ahead in extra time, I thought we would win it but we needed to control the ball and didn’t.”

Gloucester looked down and out until Meakes’ 80th-minute try, which took the game into extra time.

“That try looked like a block to us but the TMO ruled against and you’ve got to live with those tough calls,” Lam added.

“The crowd went crazy and it was uplifting for Gloucester but we composed ourselves at half-time and we looked to have won it in extra time, but it was not to be,” added Lam.