Connacht clinch famous victory
MATCH REPORT: Connacht comeback earns them their most famous victory in Europe as they condemned Toulouse to a record fifth successive away defeat in their 23-21 Champions Cup victory.
A try from Bundee Aki in the 64th minute, converted by Craig Ronaldson, completed a magnificent fightback after they had fallen 10 points behind at the end of the first half. The power of the Toulouse front row caused problems for the home side in the early exchanges and saw the visitors race into a nine point lead
But, playing in the top-tier of European rugby for the first time under their own steam after winning the PRO12 title, Connacht were never going to be overawed and stuck to their systems and, in the end, outscored the TOP 14 side by three tries to two
Sebastien Bezy kicked two of those early penalties for Toulouse and Florian Fritz added a third from long range. But once Connacht managed to get their hands on the ball they caused no end of problems for the four-time European champions.
A brilliant move from their own 22 after stealing a Toulouse line-out led to Niyi Adeolokun scoring in the right corner at the other end and then Jack Carty's penalty cut the gap to a single point. A second Carty penalty then edged Connacht in front, but Toulouse came up with a big response.
Tries from Yann David in the left corner and Jean-Marc Doussain in the space of three minutes saw them regain control and lead 21-11 at the break. Connacht finished the half knocking on the Toulouse door for another try and they picked up two more in the second half.
Tiernan O'Halloran crossed in the 57th minute and then Heineken Man of the Match Aki burst through the remnants of the visitors' defense and crossed in the right corner to level the scores. Ronaldson stepped up to end Connacht's goalkicking problems to nail the conversion and leave Toulouse with 13 minutes to find a score.
Tries: Adeolokun, O'Halloran, Aki
Pens: Carty 2
Tries: David, Doussain
Pens: Bezy 2, Fritz
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran; 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Cian Kelleher; 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Conor Carey, 2 David Heffernan, 1 Finlay Bealham
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Stacey Ili
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard; 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Paul Perez, 10 Jean-Marc Doussain, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Carl Axtens, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Edwin Maka, 20 Gregory Lamboley, 21 Talalelei Gray, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Gael Fickou
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew O`Grady (England), Jonathan Healy (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)