The result - their fourth straigh defeat in the Vodacom URC at the back-end of a four-week tour of the Northern Hemisphere - was a big blow to the Johannesburgers' aspirations of reaching the quarter-finals and although they are not yet out of the running, this loss has left them a nine points adrift of the Cell C Sharks, who are in eighth spot on the log after their win over Edinburgh earlier on Saturday.

The Emirates Lions, disrupted by a late change to their starting side with Ruhan Straeuli coming in for Emile van Heerden, were on the backfoot for most of the match, with Connacht almost scoring at will in a match that delivered nine tries.

The hosts enjoyed 64% possession and 70% territorial advantage, while the men in red were forced to make almost double the amount of tackles to their opponents.

Scoring at regular intervals, the hosts had their fourth try in the bag before the break for a bonus point, while the Emirates Lions answered with two tries of their own in the first half, by Asenathi Ntlabakanye (prop) and Henco van Wyk (centre).

Leading by 29-12 at the break, Connacht were in control, but not safe. However, the situation changed in the third quarter as Blade added two more tries to his five-pointer in the 25th minute to all but secure the victory.

Credit to the Emirates Lions though, as they kept on pushing hard, and they were rewarded with 15 minutes to go when their captain, Marius Louw, scored their third try, but that was the last points on the board as Connacht recorded a comfortable victory, repeating their 33-30 win last season in Johannesburg.


Connacht 43 (29) - Tries: Diarmiud Kilgallen, Shane Delahunt, Caolin Blade (3), Tiernan O'Halloran. Conversions: Jack Carty (5). Penalty goal: Carty.

Emirates Lions 24 (12) - Tries: Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Henco van Wyk, Marius Louw. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (3). Penalty goal: Hendrikse.