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Can Connacht Qualify

,   Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Following 3 away games Connacht finally return to the Sportsground on Saturday the 23rd of February for the penultimate game of the European Rugby Challenge Cup group stages which could decide if they qualify for the final 8 of this seasons competition.
The team find themselves in a precarious position where even a win may not guarantee the teams qualification as they sit second in Pool 1 trailing Brive by a single point following a loss at the Stade Amedee-Domenach this past weekend. This leaves Connacht in a complicated situation with numerous possible outcomes for the province this Saturday.
The best possible outcome for the side is simply that Connacht win and Brive lose meaning Connacht would top their group leading to automatic qualification with the possibility of being top seeds for the knockout stages. However a Brive win would greatly complicate matters and possibly even mean the end for Connacht in this seasons competition, even if they get a convincing win over the Russian side.
To qualify without topping the group would mean that Connacht would have to be placed as one of the 3 best performing teams to finish second within their Pool. Following last weeks loss Connacht are the 4th best performing team currently placed second in their Pool.
This has guaranteed a dramatic final round to the group stages with games being played between the 21st and 23rd with Connacht playing at 15:00 on the 23rd with the final group games starting at 20:45 that evening. This means that Connacht could leave the Sportsground not knowing their own faith.
Although complicated and nervy this is sure to make for an intriguing few days for Lam's men and their fans as they will not only have to perform but also hope that results go their way. 

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