Brive 31
Connacht 38

Connacht shot to the top of the Pool 5 table after their 38-31 victory over Brive in the Challenge Cup in the Stade Amedee-Domenech on Saturday evening. 

Kieran Keane's side battled back from a 16-point deficit on the half-hour to record a valuable bonus point win.  

Out-half Jack Carty was particularly influential throughout, scoring 23 points, a tally which included a try along with four penalties and three conversions. 

Connacht started brightly through a Carty penalty but were rocked by a yellow card for John Muldoon on the 14 minute mark. They shipped water during that ten minute period with Mike Tadjer and Florian Cazenave going over tries to give Brive a 14-3 lead.

Even when Muldoon returned, Julien Brugnaut added another try for the hosts and Connacht had a steep mountain to climb. 

However, they rallied brilliantly in the final 10 minutes of the first half with Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion crossing for tries to trail by only two points at the break. 

Connacht's Quinn Roux is tackled by Mike Tadjer of Brive

Carty gave Connacht the lead with a penalty early in the second half but this was quickly answered by Tadjer who crossed for his second try after a rolling maul from a 5m lineout. 

Thereafter, the visitors took control with Jack Carty scoring the try of the game after running all the way from his own 10m line to cross under the posts. 

There followed a Carty penalty and perhaps the decisive score arrived on 62 minutes with Cian Kelleher scoring in the corner to give Connacht a 35-26 lead. 

Though his conversion attempt slid wide, Carty slipped over penalty only four minutes later and Connacht now led by 12 points. The triumphant sound of the Fields of Athenry rang around the stadium. 

On 71 minutes, Guillaume Namy scored in the corner to give the hosts a glimmer of a chance. But they were unable to manufacture another score and despite running in five tries, the struggling Top 14 side succumbed to a seven point defeat. 

The result makes it three from three for Connacht in the Challenge Cup as they invite Brive to the Sportsground next Saturday evening.