First Challenge Cup victory for Falcons
MATCH REPORT: Connacht Rugby missed out on home advantage in the Challenge Cup Round of 16 as they were beaten 35-21 at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.
The Irish province had already qualified for the knockout stage prior to the Round 4 contest, with Newcastle unable to advance after three straight defeats in Pool A.
Defeat for Cardiff Rugby at CA Brive earlier in the day meant Connacht could move top of the pool with a bonus-point win, but Newcastle were in fine form at Kingston Park.
Tries from Michael Young, Matias Orlando, Mateo Carreras, Josh Barton and Pete Lucock, four of which were converted by Tian Schoeman and the other by Josh Thomas, saw the hosts end their campaign with a win.
A Finlay Bealham hat-trick, all converted by Conor Fitzgerald, was not enough to get Connacht back into the game, and saw RC Toulon, Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff and Bristol Bears secure home Round of 16 ties.
Tries: Bealham (3)
Cons: Fitzgerald (3)
For the Newcastle Falcons
Try: Young, Orlando, Carreras, Barton, Lucock
Con: Schoeman (4), Thomas
Yellow cards: Byron Ralston (Connacht, 9′)
Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Ben Stevenson, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Michael Young (captain), 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Gary Graham, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Freddie Lockwood, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Adam Radwan.
Connacht: 15 Mack Hansen, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Byron Ralston, 12 Cathal Forde, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Conor Fitzgerald, 9 Colm Reilly, 8 Jarrad Butler (captain), 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Shamus Hurley-Langton, 5 Josh Murphy, 4 Leva Fifita, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Darragh Murray, 20 Ciaran Booth, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Tom Daly, 23 Tom Farrell.
Referee: Pierre-Baptiste Nuchy (France)
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Stéphane Crapoix (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)