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Connacht's French clash set to lead to last eight





It will come as no surprise to learn Connacht will do their Challenge Cup business far from prying camera eyes at Brive's Stade Amedee-Domenech tomorrow evening (KO 7.45, Irish time).

The Westerners have won three out of four to lead Pool 1 on 13 points.

Newcaslte Falcons and Brive still hold a real interest as they share second on 11 points with Russian club Ensei-STM set to provide five-point fodder for the Irish province next week.

This has all the look of the match that could be decisive because whichever club takes the spoils will have their destiny in the palm of their hands.

The only problem for Brive is that they have to make their way to the North of England next week when Connacht will have a 'gimme' in Galway.

However, Brive has won two of their last three matches against Connacht in his competition.

There is a school of thought that the countless near-misses Pat Lam's men have encountered will eventually undermine their progress in the PRO12.

Their most recent heartbreak came at League leaders Scarlets where Connacht wasted so many chances and were badly served by the officials.

There's no better way to rectify this than by making nearly certain of a Challenge Cup quarter-final.