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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Connacht produce massive upset as they beat Toulouse in France

Connacht produced the upset of the weekend, and one of the biggest in Heineken Cup history, as they beat Toulouse 16-14 in France on Sunday. Four time champions Toulouse insist that they did not underestimate the Irish province.

Toulouse scored two tries to one but 11 points from the boot of flyhalf Dan Parks edged the visitors in front. The former Scotland number ten kicked two penalties, a conversion and a drop goal.

Kieran Marmion's second half score, which required much deliberation by the television match official, gave Connacht a 16-7 lead before Toulouse, who had earlier scored through Jean-Pascal Barraque, then came back with a pushover try of their own, to Thierry Dusautoir.

It was a grand weekend for Irish rugby, one that included big wins for Leinster, Munster and Ulster.

Toulouse coach Guy Noves said that they expected to win against a team bottom of the Pro12.

"We thought we would win. Although that's not to say that we looked down on our opponents.

"The start of the match made us hopeful of scoring tries and progressing. But we missed more and more chances, time passed, and we definitely began to lose our heads.. we didn't play the rugby that was required against this Connacht team.

"Strategically we weren't able to adapt to their very quick repositioning in defence. And then we coughed up a huge amount of possession. There wasn't enough alternation in our game."

Despite the win Toulouse are still top of the pool on ten points, level with Saracens but Connacht are one point behind with the return fixture in Galway to come this weekend.

"Now we have to manage the trip to Ireland. But at least we've been warned and we know that it will be extremely difficult," said Noves ahead of what should be a fascinating clash.

Posted at 8:59 pm | 13 comments

Famous win for Glasgow, upsetting Toulouse in France

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 13 comments

elsisko December 10, 2013 11:19 pm

One of my favourite teams to watch, win or lose...and yes I'm talking about Connacht. They play some seriously stylish rugby but unfortunately any time they develop a new star they get poached by the other provinces and kills any continuity in their squad. Delighted to see the younger lads making the decision to stay with them. Hopefully they push on from this win and start getting the results they deserve. I have my doubts about them doing the double over Toulouse next weekend but it will be the game I'm most looking forward to...even if I do support Munster.

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bigbadprop December 11, 2013 9:55 am

Love the unbiased commentating toward the end! Great stuff by Connacht too.

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dear_mud December 11, 2013 11:36 am

One incident that confused me during the game was the penalty for Toulouse leading up to Dusatoirs try. Connacht had the ball in the middle of the pitch and Henshaw passed to someone who knocked on. I think the ball then went back further off a Toulouse player (maybe) and then the same Connacht player that had knocked on dived on the ball. The ref gave a penalty against Connacht instead of a scrum. I didn't think it was a penalty if the player who knocks on then grabs the ball, only if it was a different player of the same team ahead of the knock on. Admittedly I was watching with French commentary so the penalty could have been for something else entirely!

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___ December 11, 2013 12:46 pm

What appears to have happened there was the ref thought that one Connacht player had knocked it on and that another player standing in front of him had picked it up - thus giving a penalty against that player for being off-side and interfering with play. Not realising that it was the same player that knocked it on and pick it up.
The ref's view as a bit obstructed and the player (Brett Wilkinson is it?) gets forward vary quickly) but that's a massive call to make and one could have cost Connacht. Perhaps he should have gone to the video ref?

I'd like to see it again too.

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Ross December 13, 2013 4:26 pm

The ref did his best to shaft Connacht. He didn't bring that back for the video ref to review yet he brought Henshaws disallowed try all the way back in what still looks to me a perfect try.
I wonder if Toulose had scored the same try as Hensahw did would he have brought it back for review?! I sincerely doubt it. Marius Mitrea should be heavily criticised for his performance!

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dear_mud December 13, 2013 5:31 pm

In fairness I've seen a lot worse refereeing performances in Connacht matches, he didn't bow to the crowd as often as other refs. He went back, from what I could tell, on the basis of advice from his linesman regarding the knock on. Also, I watched the game again last night on youtube, but with commentary in english!, I noticed Sky didn't pick up on the penalty/scrum incident either. Indeed on second viewing it might have been correct in that it was knocked on and possibly hit Henshaw ahead of the ball and then went back to Wilkinson. Really impressed with Connachts attack in the game, put some nice moves together. And if someone had told me before the game that both Naoupu and Parks would have an off game I'd have expected we'd lose by a huge amount. Instead a lot of other guys really played well. Also as Horgan pointed out, Connacht still made a number of mistakes so to win in Toulouse while not playing our absolute best is fantastic.

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___ December 11, 2013 12:53 pm

A great match fron Connacht and really they should have won by more. There were numerous times when Connacht took them apart out wide.

However, the some of the calls from the officials were awful and nearly cost Connacht - at the very least they gave Toulouse a bonus point.

dear_mud points out one which lead to a try but I would also like to see Connacht's disallowed try (for a supposed knock-on, well back in play).
^they were the big two but there were bad calls all day. Another with 1-2 mins left where the ball was clearly knocked out by a toulouse hand but awarded as a Toulouse scrum could have thrown the result. The reffing in the scrum (both put-in and scrummaging) was poor. Not biased, the ref just didn't attempt to find out what was happening and always awarded favour to the put-in.

Any chance of seeing some of these again?

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Colombes December 12, 2013 5:49 pm

Nice game by Connacht who took their chances and played some good rugby in the 2nd half. thx to show anything is possible in this competition
Toulouse was sloppy despite their dominance (incredible number of knock-on) and the absence of skillfull players such like Medard, Fickou, Clerc, McAllister & co clearly cost them

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