Perpignan 21-36 Connacht, Stade Aime Giral
Connacht boosted their qualification chances as they sealed a 21-36 win over Perpignan in their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash at Stade Aime Giral on Friday.
The win has taken Connacht to 13 points and are positioned second in Pool 3 while a winless Perpignan are at last place.
The French side got off to a promising start with Julien Farnoux's try in the eighth minute and Paddy Jackson followed it with a penalty goal. However, the visitors responded back strong with Sean O'Brien scored the first of his two tries in the 20th minute and Conor Fitzgerald followed it with a converted try as they doubled their tally.
With the home side losing Tima Faingaanuku to sin-bin in the 29th minute, the Irish side ensured they ended the first half with a 14-point lead with O'Brien dotting down in the 35th minute. Fitzgerald missed the conversion this time but made amends with a penalty kick later in the game.
Manu Leiataua and Faingaanuku brought Perpignan into the game with tries early in the second half while a penalty from Tom Ecochard brought the gap down to one point but their momentum was jolted when Adrea Cocagi was red-carded at the end of the third quarter as tries from Matt Healy and Cian Kelleher ensured Connacht completed a 21-36 bonus point victory.