Connacht beat Montpellier and qualify for Qtrs

Connacht qualified for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup for the second year in succession after beating nearest rivals Montpellier 20-10 at the Galway Sportsground.


Only two points separated the teams in Pool Two before the tie but the Irish province maintained their unbeaten record thanks to second-half tries from Liam Bibo and Fionn Carr.

A brace of penalties from the boot of fly-half Ian Keatley handed Connacht a 6-3 lead at half-time in a closely fought contest at wind-swept Galway.

But Bibo burst through on 57 minutes before wing Carr followed nine minutes later to settle the tie.

Keatley converted both before Mamuka Gorgodze touched down in the final minute for the French team. However their failure to gain a losing bonus point meant Connacht cannot be passed for top spot in the group.

Connacht travel to Madrid next week bidding to clinch top seeding and with it a guaranteed home draw in the quarter-finals.

Final Score Connacht Rugby 20 (3) Montpellier 10 (3)


Connacht Rugby
Try – Fionn Carr, Liam Bibo
Conversion – Ian Keatley (2)
Penalty – Ian Keatley (2)

Try – Mamuka Gorgodze
Conversion – Maxime Castell
Penalty – Adrien Tomas

Attendance: 1,700

Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)


Connacht Rugby: T Nathan, L Bibo, N Ta’auso, K Mathews, F Carr, I Keatley, F Murphy, B Wilkinson, S Cronin, R Morris, M Swift, B Upton, M McCarthy, R Ofisa, J Muldoon [capt]

Replacements: A Flavin, R Loughney, J Hagan, A Browne, G Naoupu, C O’Loughlin, M Nikora, A Wynne

Montpellier: J Alcalde, B Thiery, O Smith, G Rees, T Brana, J Schutte, A Tomas, E Van Staden, J Caudullo [capt], B Douglas, M Macurdy, M Gorgodze, V Bost, G Chkhaidze, M Giraud

Replacements: F Rofes, N Leleimalefaga, M Demarco, S Matadigo, M Castell, G Doumayrou, S Max, J Figallo

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