European Challenge Cup Pool 2: Bayonne 27-29 Connacht
|Bayonne (17) 27|
|Tries: Vaka, Ugalde, Sayerse Pens: Loustalot 2 Cons: Loustalot 3|
|Connacht (16) 29|
|Tries: Blade 2 Pens: Nikora 5 Cons: Blade, Nikora|
Connacht produced a strong finish to beat Bayonne and stake a strong claim for a quarter-final place in the European Challenge Cup.
Twenty-year-old scrum-half Caolin Blade scored two tries on his first start for the Irish province who are two points behind Pool Two leaders Exeter.
Blade's second touchdown came on 76 minutes and which Miah Nikora's conversion sealed the win.
Mathieu Ugalde missed a late penalty which would have denied Connacht.
Saimoni Vaka and Ugalde scored tries as Bayonne forged a 14-3 advantage.
Blade scored his first try of the night after a break by Darragh Leader.
Nikora and Christophe Loustalot exchanged penalties to leave the hosts with a 17-16 interval advantage.
Pierre Sayerse scored Bayonne's third try from close range early in the second half.
Skipper Loustalot converted and then landed a penalty to leave Connacht 11 points adrift going into the final quarter.
Two Nikora penalties whittled the deficit down to five and Blade's second try levelled the contest with the conversion sealing victory.