Planet Rugby

Connacht cut off by Brive

18th January 2008 20:49

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Sukanaivalu Hufanga tonga v england

Brive Encounter: Samoa star Suka Hufanga added the last nail to Connacht's coffin

Brive denied Connacht a shot at the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup by recording a well-taken 22-15 victory over the Irish province at the Sportsground in Galway on Friday.

The win guarantee the former Heineken Cup champions French side a berth in the play-offs, but it will almost certainly be as one of the three best runners-up, with Newcastle Falcons expected to win the pool after their home tie against Spanish minnows Cetransa El Salvador on Sunday.

Connacht wing Matt Mostyn opened the scoring with a 27th-minute try, but opposite number Farid Sid replied almost immediately and Maxime Petitjean's penalty goal gave the visitors an 8-5 lead at the break.

Petitjean converted second-half tries to replacement front-rower Jawad Djoudi and centre Suka Hufanga, and Connacht had to make do with a consolation effort from replacement winger Conor McPhillips.

Elsewhere, in the Pool Five match between two sides with no chance of progressing, Dax secured their first victory of the tournament with a 22-0 result at home to Calvisano.

Dax took a 10-0 lead at halftime, on the back of a penalty try and the boot of full-back Laurent Diaz. Winger Paul Dabrin and flanker Mattheiu Lievremont, younger brother of new France coach Marc, added tries in the second half, but the convincing win wasn't enough to move Dax from bottom place in the pool.

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