European Rugby Champions Cup: Connacht 20-18 Wasps

Naulia Dawai celebrates his try for Connacht
Naulia Dawai's try set up the chance for Jack Carty to land the winning conversion
Connacht (13) 20
Tries: Poolman, Dawai Cons: Carty 2 Pens: Carty 2
Wasps (7) 18
Tries: Simpson, Bassett Con: Gopperth Pen: Gopperth 2

A last-gasp conversion by Connacht's Jack Carty dealt Wasps their first Champions Cup defeat of the season.

A try by scrum-half Joe Simpson gave Wasps the lead before the hosts edged ahead when Carty's clever kick was gathered by Danie Poolman.

The visitors dominated the second half and when Josh Bassett touched down in the corner, the result looked assured.

But Naulia Dawai went over from a maul and Carty converted from the touchline with the last kick of the game.

Josh Bassett scores for Wasps
Josh Bassett's try looked to have secured victory for Wasps - but Connacht had the last word

It was a thrilling end to a pulsating encounter and means Wasps, Toulouse and Connacht all have 13 points in Pool Two, although the English side are top on points difference.

Carty edged the hosts ahead with a penalty after Wasps went off their feet at a ruck before Wasps hit back with a try from Simpson.

Thomas Young blasted through the Connacht defence, Nathan Hughes was halted just short of the line and Simpson finished things off, before Jimmy Gopperth kicked the extras.

Carty kicked Connacht to within a point after a searing break by Bundee Aki, before the wily fly-half chipped over the top for Poolman, on for the injured Matt Healy, to score in the corner.

Gopperth cut Connacht's lead to three points before a controversial incident between Jake Cooper-Woolley and Niyi Adeolokun.

Wasps prop Cooper-Woodley was taken off after a clash of heads with Connacht wing Adeolokun, but the home fans thought he should have also been penalised for a dangerous tackle.

Gopperth levelled the scores with another three-pointer before Bassett slid over in the corner, after the Wasps pack had won a scrum against the head, for what appeared to be the decisive score.

But Connacht were not done and Adeolokun won a penalty as Wasps - who were trying to play out time deep inside their own half - were penalised for holding on at a ruck when the home winger had his hands on the ball.

Carty kicked for the corner and Dawai fell over the line after a line-out drive. A draw looked on the cards but Carty stepped up well past the 80-minute mark to send the home fans into raptures.

It was a real body blow for Wasps, for whom captain and England lock Joe Launchbury was magnificent.

Bundee Aki celebrates with the Connacht fans
Bundee Aki was a rumbustious presence in the Connacht midfield

What they said

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young: "We were just one ruck away from winning that game. I am really disappointed for the players. It's a difficult place to come and get a result against a very good team, but I have no complaints.

"You've got to give Connacht credit for playing till the end when it looked lost to them, but I am really proud of the players and disappointed because I could not have asked for more."

Connacht boss Pat Lam: "We love it here and the last thing I said was 'draw on the crowd, draw on it getting you up of the field, draw on it to encourage your mates, draw on it to bring energy'.

"We are going to make mistakes because Wasps are a quality team, but it (the crowd) is without doubt a 16th man for us. It's just tremendous when it's full like that."


Connacht: O'Halloran; Adeolokun, Parata, Aki, Healy; Carty, Marmion; Buckley, McCartney, Bealham, Dillane, Roux, E. McKeon, Fox-Matamua, Muldoon.

Replacements: Heffernan, J Cooney, Carey, Stevenson, O'Brien, Blade, Poolman, Dawai.

Sin Bin: O'Halloran (25).

Wasps: Miller; Wade, Macken, Beale, Bassett; Gopperth, Simpson; Mullan, Taylor, Cooper-Woolley, Launchbury, Myall, Johnson, Young, Hughes.

Replacements: Rieder, Bristow, Moore, Gaskell, Thompson, Robson, Leiua, Halai.

Ref: Jerome Garces (France).

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