Toulon were too strong for a hugely committed Connacht side at the Galway Sports Ground last night in the first semi final of the Amlin Challenge Cup. Toulon came out trumps 19-12 after a solitary try to Mafileo Kefu.
Jonny Wilkinson kicked 14 points as they sealed their place in the final, which will take place in Marseille on May 23 against Cardiff Blues, who beat Wasps 18-15 earlier.
Kefu scored late in the first half after a series of scrum resets that went deep into injury time. He ran a nice line to get on the end of a pass from Matt Henjak, sending his side into a halftime break in a powerful position.
Connacht scored four penalties through Ian Keatley, but werent able to breach the Toulon defense as the big spending French side soaked up the pressure.
Connacht coach Michael Bradley was proud of his sides effort, but ultimately rued the missed opportunities that they perhaps could have taken.
“I think first of all it was a great day for Connacht. The ground and the place and the people – everything was set up for a famous day.
“The quality of the opposition shone through in the end. Toulon were well able to sustain the carries that we were attempting on the park. Their defence was strong and they were good in the collisions.
“In cup matches we need to learn at this level to take our chances, and I think we had three or four chances in the second half in particular, five yards from their line, and got nothing out of any of them,” he said.