Ulster came off second best in their Champions Cup match with Clermont Auvergne in France earlier on Sunday to leave their participation in the competition hanging by a thread.
The men from the north never recovered from an error-strewn first half left them trailing 21-0 at the break.
Clermont flew out of the blocks when Isaiah Toeava broke through the Ulster lines to give the home side the perfect start with Morgan Parra adding the extras.
A Nick Abandonen double looked to have sealed the win for the home side as they led 21-0 at half time.
Clermont struck first in the second half when Camille Lopez scored to seal the try bonus point.
Ulster though, cut out the errors and gradually worked their way back into the game. Tommy Bowe dotted down twice, either side of a Franco van der Merwe score to bring the score to 28-19.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) December 18, 2016
A late penalty killed of the Irish team's chances before a last gasp penalty try sealed a 38-19 win for the hosts. Clermont lead the pool on 17 points with Ulster and Bordeaux-Begles tied on nine. Exeter are bottom of the pool on six points with two games remaining.
Earlier, French giants Toulon suffered a surprise defeat to the Scarletts in Wales. A converted Scott Williams try and five penalties from Rhys Patchell were enough to edge out their illustrious opponents 22-21.
Leigh Halfpenny had a chance to win the game at the death but failed with a penalty attempt after Pierre Bernard's drop goal attempt fell just short.
Leigh Halfpenny of Toulon dejected after missing a penalty kick to win the game
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
In Leinster's pool, Castres did the Irish team a favour beating Montpellier to confirm the Dublin side's control of the group.
Castres won 29-23 to leave Leinster leading the standings on 16 points, five ahead of Montpellier on 11 with Castres third on nine. Northampton sit bottom on four points.
In the final match of the weekend, Champions Cup holders Saracens beat domestic rivals Sale 24-10 to take a commanding lead in pool three. They sit on 18 points with Toulon second on ten. The Scarlets are on eight with Sale yet to register a point.