Connacht v Toulouse

Pat Lam's side return to the Champions Cup and face up to three-times winners Toulouse in Galway

Patrick Madden Sat, Oct 15
LIVE: Connacht v Toulouse

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  • 17:13

    Good afternoon!

    Leinster have made it a winning start for the provinces in Europe and now it's time for one of the continent's heavyweights to make their bow at the Sportsground.

    That's right, Connacht are back at the top table of European rugby after a three year absence - and they return to the big time as Pro 12 champions.  

    Taking on Pat Lam's men in Galway this evening are French minnows Stade Toulousain, who face a daunting task way out west.

    Come on!!!

  • 17:17

    Wasps are sitting top of this pool after a thumping 82-14 win over Zebre earleir today.

    Elsewhere Saracens have recorded a historic 31-23 victory over Toulon - the first stime anybody has won a European Cup fixture at the Stade Felix Mayol.  

  • 17:18
    You can ready Gerry Thornley's preview of Connacht's return to the Champions Cup HERE.
  • 17:18
  • 17:20


    Connacht:  T O’Halloran; N Adeolokun, B Aki, C Ronaldson, C Kelleher; J Carty, C Blade; F Bealham, D Heffernan, C Carey,  Q Roux, A Browne, E McKeon, J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt). Replacements: S Delahunt, R Loughney, JP Cooney, U Dillane, S O’Brien, K Marmion, S O’Leary, S Ili.

    Toulouse:  M Médard; Y Huget, F Fritz (capt), Y David , P Perez; J-M Doussain, S Bézy; C Baille, C Tolofua, C Johnston, R Gray, J Tekori, F Cros, P Faasalele, C Axtens. Replacements: J Marchand, V Kakovin, D Aldegheri, E Maka, G Lamboley, T Gray, T Flood, G Fickou.

    Referee:  Luke Pearce (England).

  • 17:20
  • 17:32
    There's a change in Connacht's startin XV, with Ultan Dillane replacing Quinn Roux.
  • 17:36

    Here come the teams in a sun-soaked Galway. Connacht decked out in black and electric green.

    Jean-Marc Doussain has the ball in hand. We're underway!

  • 17:37
    1 min: Niyi Adeolokun gets held up in the tackle on the left and hauled into touch. Toulouse win their lineout ball but spill forward after a few phases.
  • 17:39
    3 min: The Toulouse scrum has been impressive domestically so the set-piece will be crucial for Connacht today. And they win a penalty straight away after Cyril Baille loses his binding and the scrum collapses.
  • 17:40
    4 min: As ever, Connacht looking to keep the ball in hand and they sweep from one touchline to another. Eventually a reverse ball from Andrew Browne goes forward and Toulouse have another scrum.
  • 17:42

    6 min: Much better scrum second time round from the visitors and they have a penalty coming. They look to move it but Maxime Medard slaps the ball forward.

    Scrumhalf Sebastien Bezy to go for goal, and he slots it down the middle.


  • 17:44
    8 min: Careless passage of play from Connacht. Tiernan O'Halloran tries to grubber through but the white line is up quickly and his kick is blocked. It falls for Bundee Aki but he takes his eye off the ball and spills forward.
  • 17:46

    9 min: There's another penalty scrum coming for the French, and again Bezy will go for goal.

    He makes it two from two.


  • 17:49

    11 min: Connacht need to keep things a bit tighter with the ball in hand with the Toulouse scrum looking dominant early on. Another set piece on halfway sees the visitors awarded another penalty. Again they look to run it before play is brought back.

    Florian Fritz to have another go from just inside the Connacht half, slots it.


  • 17:50
    14 min: Connacht line out on the Toulouse 10-metre and Muldoon wins it. First real attacking platform for the hosts, working their way up towards the Toulouse 22.
  • 17:51
    16 min: Excellent hands from Aki in midfield keeps the move alive until Dillane lets himself get hauled out on the left. Better passage of play from the champions.
  • 17:53

    16 min: Lineout steal from Connacht and jake Heenan bulldozes his way into the Toulouse 22.

    It's moved right and O'Halloran tries to stab through a kick following good work from Aki but Toulouse clear at the second time of asking. It's a poor clearance from Fritz though and Connacht come again!

  • 17:55
    18 min: Kelleher dances his way back at Toulouse and Connacht are on the front foot. Dillane and then Bealham nearly barrel their way up to the line before Aki is held up. Another poor Toulouse clearance sees O'Halloran run back at them before the hosts are pinged for crossing. Big, big let off for Toulouse.
  • 17:58

    TRY CONNACHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHAT A SCORE!!! Dillane pinches the lineout and Connacht move it right. Neat interplay between Aki and Ronaldson in midfield and Connacht are away. It comes back for Ronaldson who has two men over but opts to step back inside and is held up just short. The cavalry arrive and Adeolokun wriggles over! Connacht at their brilliant best.

    Conversion missed.


  • 18:01

    24 min: Good lineout ball for the hosts and they sweep it right, Aki with a good miss pass to try scorer Adeolokun. Aki takes it into contact and Toulouse are penalised.

    Carty to go for the posts with the penalty. Good kick!


  • 18:01
    Richard Toulouse are FOUR time winners
  • 18:02
    Tongue was firmly in cheek.
  • 18:03
    26 min: Brilliant hands from Ronaldson and O'Halloran straightens up with Adeolokun inside him. He gets isolated at the breakdown but Connacht are awarded a penalty. Connacht lineout just short of the Toulouse 10.
  • 18:05

    28 min: Another good lineout and a brilliant shunt. Connacht are banging on the door and have a penalty coming for offside. Toulouse manage to slow it down so the referee blows up and Connacht have a chance to take the lead - although they should have engineered another score there.

    Carty slots the kick!


  • 18:07

    30 min: Brilliant turnaround from Connacht after a sluggish start. They have stuck to their guns and not given Toulouse a sniff for 20 minutes.  


  • 18:09

    31 min: The Toulouse lineout has struggled thus far and they've taken another blow after Richie Gray is forced off. The French monster Connacht in another scrum though, and number three Conor Carey is on his last warning.

    Bezy goes for goal with a difficult touchline kick and misses.

  • 18:11
    33 min: First real spell of possession for Toulouse, with the ball worked wide to Medard and then Huget who dances his way back inside. Toulouse working their way up towards the Connacht 22.
  • 18:13


    Pressure from the visitors and Yann David muscles his way over to score on the left. His white shirt is stained red when he gets up - and looks like it has come from Aki's head. Big concern over Connacht's talisman, they can't afford to lose him here.

    Bezy makes a terrible hash of his conversion attempt.


  • 18:15
    35 min: Carty sweeps up and then dinks over the Toulouse line and gathers but has no support and Connacht are turned over. The hosts need to hold on until half time.
  • 18:17


    Brilliant rugby from Toulouse. They have returned the blitz and move the ball beautifully across the pitch. Eventually it comes to Doussain under the posts and he drives his way over.

    Easy conversion.


  • 18:19
    39 min: Aki is still on the field and he engineers the space in midfield for the ball to be moved to Adeolokun on the outside shoulder who is just hauled down. Connacht back in the ascendancy on the Toulouse 22, and patient play sees them awarded a penalty after Census Johnston gets caught offside. Connacht go for the corner!
  • 18:19
    40 min: The lineout throw is too long for Dillane and Toulouse can clear.
  • 18:19
  • 18:34

    The teams are back out in Galway. More of the same, please.

    Actually only Toulouse are out. You're a few minutes early, lads.

  • 18:35

    Here come Connacht. Aki with a bright red scrum cap on.


  • 18:36
    41 min: Toulouse gather and clear up towards halfway. Connacht need to keep on top in the lineout - and they get good ball again.
  • 18:37
    42 min: Lovely ball from O'Halloran to Adeolokun and he releases Kelleher up the left. Connacht are into the Toulouse 22.
  • 18:38
    43 min: The ball goes loose and a recovering Carty can't take it cleanly. Connacht are back in their own half.  
  • 18:40

    44 min: Lovely offload from Ronaldson and Aki bursts deep into Toulouse territory. The ball comes to Adeolokun who shows a great turn of foot before being scragged around the neck. Connacht penalty - should have been a yellow to boot.

    Carty pushes the penaty wide, bad miss.

  • 18:41
    46 min: After a loose spell of play Kelleher settles things with a good clearance into touch on the right.
  • 18:43
    47 min: Frightening rumble from Toulouse hooker Tolofua who sends a few tacklers backwards. Nearly a breakaway for Connacht after a loose pass ends on Adeolokun's boot but he can't hack it upfield. Connacht lineout after a Medard pass goes straight into touch.
  • 18:44
    48 min: Heenan has made some big carries today and he helps Connacht up towards halfway with another. Another pass goes stray though and Connacht have to recover from deep. Kelleher takes contact on the left and Huget concedes a penalty which is bumped up towards the 22.
  • 18:45
    50 min: Another Connacht lineout and they work the shortside, Heenan getting dragged into touch.
  • 18:46
  • 18:49

    52 min: Toulouse stick a penalty into touch on the Connacht 22 and win their lineout ball. They have a penalty coming and are into the Connacht 22. There's an obstruction on the far side and play will come back - giving Bezy an easy shot at goal.



  • 18:53
    56 min: Critical stage of the game now and Toulouse are muscling their way deeper and deeper into Connacht territory after winning a scrum against the head on halfway. Aki holds the ball up in the tackle - meaning Toulouse will have a five-metre scrum. Big test coming up.
  • 18:55
    57 min: The Connacht scrum hold out. Muldoon taps the penalty and Connacht look to play their way out.
  • 18:58

    TRY CONNACHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And play their way out they do!!! Ronaldson makes a break in midfield and then Kelleher is released on the left and Connacht are into the Toulouse 22! Patient build-up from the hosts, the phases racking up, and they work it back out left for O'Halloran who has Kelleher outside him but straightens up and burns past Fickou and over the line. Another great score.

    Carty misses the conversion.


  • 19:00
    61 min: Connacht have their tails up again. Carty sticks a good kick in behind Medard who clears to touch but gives Connacht a lineout deep in the French half.
  • 19:02
    63 min: Connacht are camped back in the Toulouse 22 and hammering away. The ball comes right for Dillane who makes a thundering carry but the ball is turned over. But then there's a penalty for Connacht, and Carty goes for the corner!
  • 19:04
    64 min: Good lineout ball for Connacht five out and they set up the maul. There's a penalty coming so they move it, Adeolokun running crossfield before spilling it forward.
  • 19:06
    66 min: Toulouse turnover but they don't clear very far and Connacht are straight back on the front foot.
  • 19:09

    TRY CONNACHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    More patient play from the hosts, building phases in the Toulouse 22, before the main man Aki shows and powers his way through the white line and over for the score.

    Carty converts!! Connacht lead!!!


  • 19:11
    70 min: Connacht scrum on halfway and they are solid, Muldoon picking and making a great carry. The ball is kicked to the corner and the covering Medard skews it into touch. Five-metre lineout for Lam's men.
  • 19:12
    71 min: The maul is set up but Sean O'brien is penalised.
  • 19:13
    72 min: Toulouse possession now but it's very scrappy and the French are awarded a scrum on halfway.  
  • 19:15
    73 min: Toulouse getting quick ball briefly  with David making a good carry but then Bezy spills it forward. Carty kicks in behind and Medard skews another clearance.
  • 19:16
    74 min: Aki's mammoth shift is finally over. The lineout ball isn't clean for Connacht but Delahunt gathers it at the second time of asking - but he was offside.
  • 19:17
  • 19:17
    76 min: Toulouse not straight at the lineout. Connacht are getting closer.
  • 19:19
    77 min: Quick, clean lineout ball. Browne spills it but it doesn't go forward. Toulouse back in possession and it's spilled forward by a white shirt but somehow it's not given.
  • 19:19
    @therealculls Thanks for the coverage, Patrick. Trapped in Ohio and missing the fun
  • 19:20
    78 min: Toulouse not deeper into Connacht territory - and what looks like another Bezy knock on isn't given. They're in penalty range now, Connacht need to keep their discipline. Toulouse up towards the Connacht 10-metre but it's static.
  • 19:21
    79 min: Toulouse spill it forward! Adeolokun dives on it inside the 22. A minute to hold on.
  • 19:21
    80 min: Connacht keeping it in the tight, the ball up the jumper. There are white shirts a mile offside but again nothing given. 20 seconds to go.
  • 19:22
  • 19:23
  • 19:23
  • 19:25
    Bundee Aki is man of the match. He was colossal.
  • 19:33
  • 19:46

    Thanks for joining on a historic night in Galway. Keith Duggan's match report will be live soon.


  • 19:46
    Dave M The mighty Connacht! BBC Champions Cup review today went on about how Wasps and Toulouse would stroll their group - and didn't even mention the Pro12 champions. Good to be ignored sometimes.