Toulouse 32

Connacht 17

Connacht put in a brave performance where they went toe to toe with Toulouse for 60 minutes of this game, only for the home side to turn it around in the final quarter. When Conor Fitzgerald put Connacht into a three point lead from a drop goal in the 50th minute, the away side looked full value for their lead and well capable of causing an upset. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be though as it proved to be Connacht’s final score of the game.

The game got off to a flying start with both sides playing an attacking and highly entertaining brand of rugby. With 12 minutes on the clock Connacht drew first blood when Tom Farrell found a gap and broke from 35 metres out to run in under the posts.

Toulouse’s response to the converted try was swift – as they had their first try on the board within two minutes of the Fitzgerald conversion. They added a further three points from a penalty and with 20 minutes on the clock.

Then with ten minutes to go before the break, Connacht were down to 14 men when Colby Fainga’a was shown a yellow card. Within six minutes Toulouse exerted their numerical advantage and scored a try in the corner which they failed to convert. This meant there was just the minimum between them at the break Toulouse leading 15 – 14.

It was Connacht who opened brightest in the second half and their dominance was rewarded when Fitzgerald found the gap and landed an outstanding drop goal in the now driving train.

Toulouse to their credit responded and the French Champions dragged themselves back into the game. Firstly on 64 minutes Jerome Kaino drove over after some outstanding Connacht defence. Then as the time was running out both sides went looking for a bonus point. Connacht tried to get within 7 and Toulouse looked for a fourth try. Ultimately it was Toulouse’s day as former Connacht player Pita Ahki scored with the clock two minutes in the red.

So, a disappointing day for Connacht but still many positives to take away. Connacht’s fate will now be decided by the back to back games against Gloucester.

Tickets for the home game against the English Premiership side are available now to purchase (Click Here).

Connacht: Matt Healy, John Porch, Tom Farrell (Jack Carty), Tom Daly (Peter Robb), Kyle Godwin, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (Angus Lloyd) Pete McCabe (Matthew Burke), Dave Heffernan (Shane Delahunt), Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Finlay Bealham), Ultan Dillane  (Joe Maksymiw), Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Robin Copeland (Paul Boyle).

Connacht scrum-half Caolin Blade is set to make his 100th appearance for his home province as his side take on Toulouse in the second round of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday (k/o 1pm Irish time).
 
The 25 year old from Monivea picked up the Man of the Match award in the opening round win over Montpellier and he will be hoping for a repeat performance as he forms a half-back partnership with Conor Fitzgerald against the French Top 14 champions.
 
Connacht are boosted by the return of international lock Quinn Roux who will captain the side in the absence of Jarrad Butler. Roux will line up alongside Ultan Dillane in the second row after the latter came through the Montpellier game unscathed following a recent back injury.
 
In the front row there are two changes, with Dave Heffernan coming in at hooker and Peter McCabe at loosehead. Dominic Robertson-McCoy is retained at tighthead with Finlay Bealham named on the bench after a two week layoff with injury.
 
In the back row, the versatile Eoghan Masterson comes in at blindside with Colby Fainga’a at openside and Robin Copeland starting again at number 8.
 
There is a reshuffle in the backline, with Matt Healy at full back in a back three that sees Kyle Godwin and John Porch on the wings, while Tom Farrell comes into the midfield alongside Tom Daly.
 
Commenting ahead of the game, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said:
 
“We were happy with the character shown against Montpellier but we know we will need to improve as we travel away to Toulouse. We have seen the quality they have in the past few seasons in this competition and winning the Top 14 in France. However we are travelling with a squad that has a huge sense of belief that we can win the game on Saturday”.
 
“We are boosted this week with a number of players returning from injury and the real positive for us is that with a six day turnaround from the Montpellier game we have players coming in fresh into the squad. Saturday is another challenge for us but one we are really looking forward to”, he added.
 

Connacht Matchday Squad v Toulouse (Sat 23 Nov, 1pm Irish Time)

(15-9): Matt Healy, John Porch, Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Kyle Godwin, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade. (1-8): Peter McCabe, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Finlay Bealham, Joe Maksymiw, Paul Boyle, Angus Lloyd, Jack Carty, Peter Robb.

Following Sunday’s vital Heineken Champions Cup win over Montpellier at The Sportsground, the Connacht players were back in training yesterday as attention turns to a clash with another French outfit.
 
Andy Friend’s side take on Toulouse, a side they are no strangers of in the competition, with the game taking place at the Stade Ernest-Wallon this Saturday (k/o 1pm Irish time).
 
Ahead of the game the squad held a light training session yesterday as they juggle a 6-day turnaround.
 
Check out some of the best pics below:
 

This colourful French city is known as the pink city (La Ville Rose) and as one of the most attractive cities in France. Toulouse is the epitome of a rugby city and an atmosphere not to be missed if you want to catch an away game. It has something for everyone from nature to history and great food.
 
Where to stay?

Toulouse is a nice compact city and a walker’s paradise. The main hub of the city is around Place du Capitole. Just like Mont Pellier you can stay in some really quirky hotels with lots of history and interesting architecture.

If you wish to be close to the stadium the Ibis Toulouse and Hotel Alize is a 10-minute walk to Stade Ernest Wallon.
 
City to Stadium

The Metro goes from Jean Jaures station which brings you to Line B and then brings you North to Barriere de Paris station in 30 minutes. Here you can take a shuttle bus to the stadium which is 10 minutes away.

A taxi will take 20 minutes and should cost around €20. Ensure you mention Stade Ernest Wallon.
 
Tickets

Tickets can be purchased from the Toulouse website HERE

Stade Ernest Wallon is a fully seated stadium. Tickets are price based on categories. Cat 1 and Cat 2 are usually the most expensive in the middle of the pitch and range to Cat 10 and Cat 11 at the goal ends.
 
Stadium

The atmosphere in the stadium is incredible, there is a selection of food stalls and bars, and the pr- match entertainment promises to be exciting. You can download the stadium app for free and order food and beverages from your seat in the stadium.
 
Bars in the City

The Danu Bar: This famous bar is a must for any rugby fan in Toulouse, it promises lots of atmosphere and a good spot for a bite before setting off for the game. The walls of rugby memorabilia will keep you entertained.

The Melting Pot Bar: Another famous Irish bar that has a buzzing atmosphere and cheaper pints than the rest of the city.

Bar a La Une: If you are looking for a true Toulouse experience then look no further than this hidden bar. Here you will find some French cuisine and lots of delicious wines to taste.

Chez ta Mere: If it is live music you are after then you can be sure to find some local talented artists here that teamed with it’s artistic quirky décor you will be sure to enjoy your night.
 
Food in the City

Le Colombier: This family run favourite is away from the tourist traps you may find yourself in and the dishes are good value for money.

Xavier: The owner Francois Bourgon has been named the best fromagier in France. It offers all types of cheeses you could imagine and lots of wine to accompany.

Le Grenier de Pepe: Granpas attic is a place for some crepes, fondue and all the French delicacies you find yourself in search of. Most dishes are great value for money.
 
Sightseeing

Toulouse has a network of bus, tram and metro lines. Free, electric shuttle buses circles the city centre six days a week. They are normally red and white and do not have set stops, that you can flag down.

· Couvent des Jacobins: A magnificent gothic monastery built in 1229

· Pont Neuf: A bridge over the Garonne river and perfect for a walk or a cycle

· Capitole de Toulouse: The main square in the city is surrounded by impressive buildings, great eateries and great for a walk around

· Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse: This beautiful Romanesque church is a must see on your visit to Toulouse.
 
Airbus Factory

Airbus and Aeroscopia Aeronautical Museum offers a chance for all plane buffs to visit the factory where they assemble the A380 the world’s largest passenger plane along with the famous Concorde, once the world’s fastest passenger jet

Connacht’s dreams of reaching a first ever Champions Cup quarter final were dashed in France today by four-time Champions Toulouse. The French side booked their place in the knock out stages with a 19 – 10 win at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Connacht knew a losing bonus-point would have been enough to seal a first appearance in the Champions Cup last-eight and never gave up in their hunt for a last-gasp score.

But a determined Toulouse held strong after a quick-fire start that saw them score twice in the first quarter through Gael Fickou and Arthur Bonneval. Outhalf Jean-Marc Doussain kicked the two conversions to put the home side 14 – 0 up after 20 minutes.

Connacht finally got on the board after 33 minutes with a penalty kicked by centre Craig Ronaldson but Quinn Roux was shown a yellow card just before half-time.

Half time: Toulouse 14 – 3 Connacht

Toulouse continued to pile on the pressure after the break with their one-man advantage and just as Connacht were back to full strength, Joe Tekori peeled off the back of a powerful maul to score and make it 19-3.

But minutes later, Connacht were on the attack and a penalty lead to a five-metre lineout. Peter Robb made good ground with a powerful run down the centre before the ball was shipped to John Muldoon, who barged his way over. Ronaldson converted to cut the gap to 19-10 with 25 minutes of play remaining.

While all that was needed was a penalty or drop goal to advance, Pat Lam’s side were also aware that they needed to prevent Toulouse from scoring a fourth bonus-point try. A tense finish ensued but Toulouse held on to secure best runner-up from Pool 2. The French side will travel to Thomond Park to take-on Munster at Thomond Park.

Full time: Toulouse 19 – 10 Connnacht

TOULOUSE: Yoann Huget; Arthur Bonneval, Yann David, Gaël Fickou, Paul Perez; Jean-Marc Doussain, Sébastien Bézy; Cyril Baille (Vasil Kakovin ’66), Christopher Tolofua (Leonardo Ghiraldini ’68), Census Johnston (Maks van Dyk ’66); Richie Gray, Yoann Maestri; Joe Tekori (Gillian Galan ’68), Thierry Dusautoir (captain), François Cros (Piula Faasalele ’71).

Replacements not used: Talalelei Gray, Toby Flood, Alexis Palisson

CONNACHT: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun (HIA – Danie Poolman ’63), Peter Robb, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion (John Cooney ’75); Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney (Dave Heffernan ’65), Finlay Bealham (John Andress ’75); Quinn Roux (yellow card ’37); James Cannon; Nepia Fox-Matamua (Sean O’Brien ’63), Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (captain).

Replacements not used: JP Cooney, Naulia Dawai, Tom Farrell.

Referee: Wayne Barnes [RFU].

Attendance: 12, 023.

 

Connacht Rugby Head Coach Pat Lam has named his match day 23 to face Toulouse in the final pool game of the Champions Cup this Sunday (kick off 4:15pm local time).

There are five personnel changes in total from the team that lined out at the Sportsground in the bonus point win over Zebre six days ago.  

Jack Carty has recovered from injury to take the reins at outhalf while Peter Robb also returns to form a new centre partnership with Craig Ronaldson.

Up front, Ireland international Quinn Roux comes in having missed out last week while the back row is also boosted with the return from injury of flankers Nepia Fox-Matamua and Jake Heenan.

Commenting on the upcoming game, Lam said:

 “We are aware of the phenomenal challenge that awaits us in Toulouse on Sunday but these are the sort of games that you want to be a part of.  It’s an opportunity as a player and as a team to put in a performance on the big stage.

“While the right outcome would be massive for Irish Rugby, the focus remains on executing our game plan in a pressure environment to get us the win we need.”

Connacht team to face Toulouse 

Sunday January 22nd, kick off 16:15, Stade Ernest-Wallon  

(Connacht caps in brackets)

15           Tiernan O’Halloran (117)
14           Niyi Adeolokun (48)
13           Peter Robb (24)
12           Craig Ronaldson (57)
11           Matt Healy (83)
10           Jack Carty (70)
9             Kieran Marmion (114)

1             Denis Buckley (107)
2             Tom McCartney (55)
3             Finlay Bealham (71)
4             Quinn Roux (45)
5             James Cannon (8)
6             Nepia Fox-Matamua (15)
7             Jake Heenan (46)
8             John Muldoon (291) (captain)

Replacements:

16          Dave Heffernan (74)
17          JP Cooney (43)
18          John Andress (3)
19          Sean O’Brien (30)
20          Naulia Dawai (5)
21          John Cooney (30)
22          Tom Farrell (1)
23           Danie Poolman (78)

Injured / Unavailable: Conor Carey, Ivan Soroka, Conan O’Donnell, Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne, Ben Marshall, Marnitz Boshoff, Shane O’Leary, Stacey Ili, Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin, Cormac Brennan, Cian Kelleher, Darragh Leader, Josh Rowland.

Toulouse v Connacht
Sunday 22nd January
Kick-off: 16:15 (local time)
Stade Ernest-Wallon

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant Ref: JP Doyle (Eng)
Assistant Ref: Peter Allan (Eng)
TMO: David Grashoff (Eng)
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Sco)

Ahead of Sunday’s Champions Cup game away to Toulouse (4:15pm), the Connacht Rugby medical team have provided the following update.

Denis Buckley (foot) sustained a foot injury in the Zebre game and will be monitored this week by the medical staff up to the Toulouse game.

Ronan Loughney (knee) has progressed well in his rehabilitation from surgery and will integrate into full training this week with the squad.

Quinn Roux (groin) has recovered from his groin injury and will integrate into full training this week with the squad.

Ultan Dillane (ankle) has progressed very well in his rehabilitation and will integrate into partial training this week with the squad.

Jake Heenan (knee) and Nepia Fox Matamua (chest) have recovered from their recent injuries and will integrate into full training this week with the squad.

Eoghan Masterson (knee) will integrate in to full training this week following his recovery from a serious knee injury.

Jack Carty (knee) will integrate into training this week with the squad following his injury sustained in the PRO12 game away to Ospreys this month.

Both Shane O’Leary (concussion) and Peter Robb (concussion) have successfully completed the return-to-play protocols and will integrate into full training this week.

Josh Rowland (knee) sustained an injury to his knee playing for the Connacht Eagles at the weekend and will be out of action for up to two months.

Toulouse v Connacht Rugby
Sunday, 22 January
Kick-off: 16:15
Stade Ernest Wallon

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant Ref: JP Doyle (Eng)
Assistant Ref: Peter Allan (Eng)
TMO: David Grashoff (Eng)
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Sco)

Cornish Pirates v Connacht Eagles
Saturday, 21 January
Kick-off: 14:00
Mennaye Field, Penzance, Cornwall

Pool 2
Wasps (17 points) will be favourites to win at Zebre and secure their place in the knockout stage, but the clash of Toulouse (14 points) and Connacht (18 points) at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday promises to be a Round 6 classic. A victory for Connacht and it’s straightforward, the Irish province will be in the quarter-finals for the first time, but a win for Toulouse, and the calculators will be out in force. Keep in mind that if it comes to a match points head-to-head between the two clubs, Connacht have four points from their Round 1 success and Toulouse have one point.

Toulouse v Connacht Rugby
Sunday, 22 January
Kick-off: 16:15
Stade Ernest Wallon

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)
Assistant Ref: JP Doyle (Eng)
Assistant Ref: Peter Allan (Eng)
TMO: David Grashoff (Eng)
Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery (Sco)

Match facts

  • After previous defeats to Ulster and to Connacht, Toulouse are looking to avoid a third consecutive home loss against Irish opposition.
  • Connacht won in Toulouse in Round 3 in 2013  having scored just three points in total on their two previous Champions Cup games in France.
  • Connacht top the charts for carries, metres, clean breaks and defenders beaten this season.
  • Connacht are the only team in the competition to average more than 20 minutes of possession per game so far (20m 13s).
  • Toulouse have averaged 24.8 offloads per game in this campaign, no other side has averaged 20.

 

Team comparison (European Cup record)

Toulouse Connacht Rugby
Played 155 23
Wins 104 11
Draws 5 0
Losses 46 12
Total Points For 4164 443
Total Points Against 2885 514
Total Tries For 448 42
Total Tries Against 254 57

 

2016/17 Points Scorers                                                                                       Head-to-head record

Toulouse Team Connacht Rugby
5 Played 5
3 Wins 2
2 Losses 3
0 Draws 0

Toulouse:    

Player Points
Sebastien Bezy 29
Toby Flood 19
Arthur Bonneval 15
Yoann Huget 15

 

Connacht Rugby:

Date Home Score Away
08/12/2013 Toulouse 14-16 Connacht Rugby
14/12/2013 Connacht Rugby 9-37 Toulouse
15/10/2016 Connacht Rugby 23-21 Toulouse

 

Player Points
Jack Carty 28
John Cooney 21
Craig Ronaldson 17

 

 

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