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Exeter Chiefs beat Connacht to reach European Challenge Cup last eight

Connacht fail to build on first-half lead as Exeter Chiefs stormed their way into the last eight of the European Challenge Cup.

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Exeter Chiefs booked their place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup thanks to a superb second-half revival in a 33-24 victory at Connacht on Sunday.

The Chiefs knew that a win in the Pool Two clash at the Galway Sportsgrounds would be enough to seal safe passage into the last eight.

However, they were up against it at the break when Matt Healy, Willie Faloon and Danie Poolman all scored tries to hand Connacht a 17-10 advantage at the break, a penalty try and three points from Henry Slade keeping the Chiefs in the contest.

Connacht were unable to maintain the pressure in the second half, though, and another Slade penalty further reduced the arrears before Dean Mumm showed great anticipation to take a loose ball and break free to put the Premiership club ahead.

More accurate kicking from the boot of Slade stretched Exeter's lead and fine work from Matt Jess, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Damian Welch helped Don Armand go over from close range.

The hosts threatened a late comeback when Healy scored his second try of the game with six minutes on the clock, but it proved too little too late as Rob Baxter's men celebrated reaching the knockout stages.

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