Ahead of the 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup, we’re looking back at the previous meetings in the competition between sides drawn to face each other. Next up, we recap the clashes between Connacht Rugby and CA Brive, who will meet again in Pool A next season.
2007-08 pool stage: CA Brive 15 Connacht Rugby 6
Connacht were made to rue some poor goalkicking by Tim Donnelly at a frosty Parc Municipal des Sports, with the Australian fly-half missing four penalties.
In contrast, Donnelly’s opposite number, Luciano Orquera, was in lethal form, landing all three of his first-half penalties to give his side a 9-3 interval lead, before kicking a fourth penalty early in the second half. Maxime Petitjean then dropped a goal.
Connacht’s points came from a penalty apiece by Donnelly and Peter Durcan.
2007-08 pool stage: Connacht Rugby 15 CA Brive 22
Brive jumped to the top of Pool 3 with a gritty victory over Connacht at The Sportsground to complete the double over the Irish team and clinch a place in the quarter-finals, while also ending Connacht’s qualification hopes.
Matt Mostyn opened the scoring for Connacht with a 27th-minute try, but Farid Sid replied almost immediately and Maxime Petitjean’s penalty gave the visitors an 8-5 half-time lead.
Petitjean improved second-half tries from Jawad Djoudi and Suka Hufanga, with Connacht having to make do with a consolation effort from Conor McPhillips.
Your 2022/23 #ChallengeCupRugby weekend schedule is here, with kick-off dates and times to be confirmed 🙌
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— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) July 21, 2022
2015-16 pool stage: Connacht Rugby 21 CA Brive 17
Connacht took early control of Pool 1 with a hard-earned victory over a battling Brive team at The Sportsground, their first over the French club in the Challenge Cup.
It was Jack Carty’s two first-half penalties as Connacht opened up an 11-5 interval lead that proved crucial in the final analysis, with both sides scoring three tries and Brive managing only one successful kick at goal via Teddy Iribaren’s late conversion.
Connacht’s three tries came via Rory Parata, Ben Marshall and Kieran Marmion, while Brive replied through Thomas Acquier, Benito Masilevu and Sevanaia Galala.
2015-16 pool stage: CA Brive 21 Connacht Rugby 18
Thomas Laranjeira kicked a last-minute penalty to seal a dramatic victory for Brive after Connacht captain John Muldoon looked to have rescued a late draw for the Irish side with a 78th-minute try, his second of the game.
Brive centre Laranjeira landed the last of his seven penalties in overtime to enable the French club to leapfrog Connacht at the top of Pool 1 despite three tries from the visitors.
Perata burst through to score with just 40 seconds on the clock, but AJ MacGinty could not convert and the American’s lack of success from the tee proved decisive in the end, as he was able to kick only one penalty, Muldoon’s double also going unconverted.
2017-18 pool stage: CA Brive 31 Connacht Rugby 38
Connacht stepped up to the Pool 5 summit with a fiercely-contested victory at the Stade Amedee-Domenech thanks largely to Jack Carty, who amassed 23 points.
The fly-half kicked four penalties and three conversions, as well as scoring a try, as the Irish province moved three points clear. Ultan Dillane, Kieran Marmion and Cian Kelleher also touched down in the bonus-point win.
However, Connacht were pressed hard by Brive, who outscored the visitors in tries, with Mike Tadjer (2), Florian Cazenave, Julien Brugnaut and Guillaume Namy crossing to secure two bonus points. Gaëtan Germain landed three conversions.
2017-18 pool stage: Connacht Rugby 55 CA Brive 10
Connacht moved one step closer to the Challenge Cup knockout stages with a comprehensive, seven-try thrashing of Brive at The Sportsground.
Matt Healy raced in for four tries as the Irish province moved seven points clear at the head of Pool 5, with Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion and Thomas Farrell also crossing. Carty finished with 25 points, as he also converted all seven tries and kicked two penalties.
Brive were still in the contest at half-time, when they only trailed 17-10, with Gaëtan Germain scoring all their points, but they were blown away in the second period.