Bundee Aki goes after Cardiff No.8 after silly hit on Caolin Blade 6 days ago

Bundee Aki goes after Cardiff No.8 after silly hit on Caolin Blade

It all kicked off.

"The game is over. The game is OVER!"

That was the cry coming from a few of the Connacht players as jubilation quickly turned to consternation.

Connacht beat Cardiff Blues 29-22 at The Sportsground to secure Champions Cup rugby for next season, and tee up a Guinness PRO14 quarter-final with Ulster.

Andy Friend's side scored four tries and withstood some second half pressure to beat their closest rivals, securing third place in Conference A. Jack Carty, Paul Boyle and Jarrad Butler were all class, as was Caolin Blade.

The Connacht scrum-half scored a try in the first half, after a superb Boyle offload, and played the guts of 80 minutes. He was replaced with 68 minutes gone but replacement Kieran Marmion was subbed off after taking a hefty blow preventing a Josh Harries try.

Blade came back on to help steer Connacht to a crucial win and it was he that kicked the ball out when the hosts turned the ball over near halfway.

Perhaps frustrated at the nature of his side's defeat, Cardiff No.8 Seb Davies made a late and silly tackle on Blade to spark a flare-up.

Blade was quick to his feet after being tackled and Connacht centre Bundee Aki swooped in to protect his scrum-half.

Cardiff's Lloyd Williams then need some protecting as he yanked Bundee Aki to the ground before covering up as the Ireland star vaulted up for some pay-back.

All told, the melee lasted only 10 seconds before calmer heads prevailed.

Next up for Connacht will be a visit to Thomond Park and nice, relaxing game with Munster.