Connacht coach Andy Friend said he always believed his men could secure the victory they needed in Bordeaux to advance to the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup for the tenth time.
Connacht looked to be on their way out when they trailed by eight points nine minutes from the end but a second try of the match from Matt Healy and an intercept from Jack Carty snatched a dramatic 33-27 win.
Carty’s score crowned a great week for the Athlone man after he was called into the Irish squad in mid-week along, one of three uncapped Connacht players called up with scrum-half Caolin Blade and centre Tom Farrell also being drafted by Joe Schmidt.
Friend said they were pleased to advance to a quarter-final showdown against pool opponents Sale Sharks despite a performance that was far from perfect.
“We are yet to play our best game of rugby and our errors are keeping the opposition in games but we showed a lot of character and belief again and managed to get the win and the bonus.
“To win in France is a great achievement, we have done it and we have a quarter-final to look forward to now against Sale.
“We certainly made it hard on ourselves. But I felt we would always do it, we had the composure and thankfully it came good when it mattered most.”