Connacht recorded an historic victory on Tuesday as they overcame a touring Samoa 26-22 at the Sportsground in Galway.
Connacht recorded an historic victory on Tuesday as they overcame Samoa 26-22 at the Sportsground.
Skipper John Muldoon came off the bench to score the match-winner late on.
Both sides showed a great willingness to play attacking rugby and there was no shortage of entertainment during an open first-half.
Samoa captain and fly-half Lolo Lui opened the scoring with a penalty in the 11th minute and tries from Misioka Timoteo and Falemiga Selesele had the visitors ahead 17-16 at half-time.
Connacht fly-half Miah Nikora, who is of Samoan origin, had kept the hosts in contact with three penalties before Brian Tuohy scored to set up an exciting second period.
But Clermont hooker Tii Paulo and scrum-half Junior Poluleuligaga were sin-binned in the second half which allowed Muldoon to cross the line. Nikora landed the touchline conversion to make it six kicks from six and ensure the home side held on for victory.
Connacht:15 Troy Nathan, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Aidan Wynne, 11 Brian Tuohy, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Ezra Taylor, 7 Mike McComish, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Andrew Browne, 3 Barry Fa'amausili, 2 Adrian Flavin (c), 1 Ronan Loughney.
Replacements: 16 Dermot Murphy, 17 Rob Sweeney, 18 Dylan Rogers, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Shane Conneely, 21 Conor O'Loughlin, 22 Darragh Fanning,
Samoa: 15 Mikaele Pesamino, 14 Fautua Otto, 13 Uarotafou Setu, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Lolo Lui (c), 9 Junior Poluleluligaga, 8 Richard Muagututia, 7 Falemiga Selesele, 6 Misioka Timoteo, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Chad Slade, 3 Logovii Mulipola, 2 Ti'i Paulo, 1 Simon Lemalu.
Replacements:16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Naama Leleimalefaga, 18 Filipo Levi, 19 Afa Aiono, 20 Uale Mai, 21 Brando Vaaulu, 22 Gavin Williams.