Connacht romp to bonus point win over Oyonnax
Hat-trick hero Niyi Adeolokun scores after 22 seconds as French visitors are blown away
Niyi Adeolokun scores one of his three tries at the Sportsground. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Connacht 50 Oyonnax 14
As expected, Connacht secured another bonus point win to complete their European qualification stages unbeaten and top pool five.
There was little doubt where the points were going at the Galway Sportsground after Connacht had the bonus point wrapped up by the 20th minute, and now they must wait for the remainder of the group fixtures in this season’s Challenge Cup to see where they are seeded for the quarter-finals.
It took only 21 seconds for Connacht to score the first try with man of the match Niyi Adeolokun crossing in the corner.
Marmion chipped through perfectly after Connacht when an Oyonnax kick was blocked down, and the right wing won the race to the ball.
Two minutes later, he made it try number two after Conor Carey provided the impetus with a break, Tiernan O’Halloran then supplied the perfect pass, and Adeolokun finished off under the posts with outhalf Craid Ronaldson adding the conversion.
Connacht continued to control territory and possession, and from a Quinn Roux line-out catch, and a forward maul, Marmion once again produced a super grubber for Bundee Aki to pounce, Ronaldson’s conversion making it 19-0 after 11 minutes.
There was some reprieve for the French visitors who capitalised on two successive penalties, and fullback Axel Muller did well to wriggle over, reducing the arrears to 19-7 with Anthony Fuertes’ conversion.
It was short lived. Ronaldson carved a gap through the middle, and Connacht were queueing up out wide with O’Halloran touching down, to wrap up the bonus point.
There was no let up for the struggling Top 14 side. In a game that also produced individual cameos, Adeolokun had struck for his third and Matt Healy celebrated his 100th cap with another try for a 36-17 lead - O’Halloran adding the conversion after Ronaldson was forced off with a suspected hamstring injury.
Although Oyonnax responded before the break through right wing Daniel Ikpefan, the result was never in doubt. The second half marked by a raft of replacements beforeTom Farrell crossed and O’Halloran produced a superb touchline conversion. Kieran Keane’s men then wrapped up the game with a penalty try, Muldoon having full control at the back of a dominant scrum.
Yellow cards: R Hansell-Pune 74m
Connacht: T O’Halloran, N Adeolkun, E Griffin, B Aki, M Healy, C Ronaldson, K Marmion, D Coulson, D Heffernan, C Carey,U Dillane, Q Roux, E Masterson, N Dawai, J Muldoon (capt). Replacements: C Kelleher for Ronaldson (32m),T Farrell for Aki and C Blade for Marmion 47m), D Robertson-McCoy for Carey (48m), S Delahunt for Heffernan and J Connolly for Dawai (54m), P McCabe for D Coulson (69m), C Gallagher for Adeolokun (69m).
Oyonnax: A Muller; D Ikpefan, U Seuteni, R Hansell-Pune, T Giresse; A Fuertes, J Hall; K Vartanov, Q MacDonald, T Laclayat, G Fabbri, S Christian Njewel, C Browning, BTaieb, T Tauleigne. Replacements: I Mirtskhulava for Laclayat (32m), J Lima for Fuertes (34m), B Geledan for MacDonald, L Barba for Tauleigne (all 50m), J Audy for Hall (56), M Veau for Giresse (65m), S Kerry for Njewel (72m), Laclayat for Mirtskhulava for (70m).
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)