Challenge Cup: Connacht 24-33 Exeter Chiefs

Dean Mumm
Dean Mumm's try turned the game in Exeter Chiefs' favour
Challenge Cup
Connacht: (17) 24
Tries: Healy 2, Faloon, Poolman Cons: Carty 2
Exeter: (10) 33
Tries: Penalty, Mumm, Armand Cons: Slade 3 Pens: Slade 3, Armand

Exeter qualified for the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals with victory over Connacht in pool two.

Matt Healy, Willie Faloon and Danie Poolman crossed to give the hosts a 17-10 half-time lead, with the Chiefs's response coming from a penalty try and the boot of Henry Slade.

But Dean Mumm's superb interception try put Exeter in front, before Don Armand went over from close to make it 30-17.

Healy's second try gave his side a bonus point, but Exeter held out.

Rob Baxter will be pleased his Exeter side ended a run of four straight defeats with victory in Ireland - at a ground where the hosts had only lost twice all season.

European Rugby Challenge Cup pool two
1. Exeter520
2. Connacht515
3. Bayonne59
4. La Rochelle54

Connacht, who would have gone top of pool two with victory, began the game brightly and got on the scoreboard early when Robbie Henshaw's break allowed some space for Healy to cross in the corner.

Exeter were then awarded a penalty try after a succession of scrums, but flanker Faloon soon put his side 10-7 ahead after a maul down the left wing.

Slade then kicked his second of two first-half penalties over to draw level, but almost straight away a beautiful breakaway from left to right was easily finished off in the corner by Poolman.

And, after Slade had scored an early second half penalty, Mumm took hold of a loose ball and ran in from 10 metres out.

Slade's lovely penalty then gave his side a six-point lead, before strong running from Matt Jess, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Damian Welch helped Armand over.

Exeter looked on top, but Healy gave his side hope of a dramatic comeback late on, however it was not to be and Baxter's side move into the knockout stages.

Connacht: Muliaina; Poolman, Henshaw, McSharry, Healy; Carty, Marmion; Buckley, McCartney, Ah You; Roux, Muldowney; Muldoon (capt), Faloon, Naoupu.

Replacements: Blade for Muliaina (72), Leader for McSharry (41), Heffernan for Buckley (69), Cooney for McCartney (69), Nikora for Marmion (69), Bealham for Ah You (40), Browne for Muldowney (64), E. McKeon for Muldoon (64).

Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Whitten, Nowell, Hill, Jess; Slade, Lewis; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Brown; Mumm (capt), Welch; Ewers, Armand, Waldrom.

Replacements: Thomas for Lewis (66), Bateman for Moon (76), Sturgess for L. Cowan-Dickie (76), Horstmann for Brown (66), Rimmer for Welch (65), Scaysbrook for Armand (76).

Not Used: Steenson, McGuigan.

Att: 5,088

Ref: Mathieu Raynal (France).