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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Here’s the Connacht team for today’s game…

15           Tiernan O’Halloran
14           Niyi Adeolokun
13           Bundee Aki
12           Craig Ronaldson
11           Cian Kelleher
10           Jack Carty
9             Caolin Blade

1              Finlay Bealham
2              Dave Heffernan
3              Conor Carey
4              Quinn Roux
5              Andrew Browne
6              Eoin McKeon
7              Jake Heenan
8              John Muldoon (captain)

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

Late change for Connacht — Ultan Dillane is in for Quinn Roux.

We’re underway…

3Mins

Decent start from Connacht.

The first scrum goes their way.

7Mins

Advantage Toulouse.

A Sébastien Bézy penalty gives them the lead.

Connacht have had 85% possession in the early stages.

Toulouse, however, have had the advantage in terms of territory.

Flag

Another straightforward penalty from Sébastien Bézy doubles the visitors’ advantage.

To make matters worse for Connacht, their re-start goes straight into touch.

15Mins

Florian Fritz kicks one from distance to make it 9-0.

It’s been a hugely impressive start from Toulouse.

16Mins

Bundee Aki shows great hands as Connacht launch a promising attack.

Better from the hosts.

19Mins

A superb solo run from Cian Kelleher starts a lengthy attack off.

Ultimately it comes to nothing, however, and a penalty is awarded to Toulouse for crossing.

That’s a big missed opportunity for Connacht.

22Mins

It’s a superb team try from Connacht, with Bundee Aki and Craig Ronaldson both heavily involved, before Niyi Adeolokun crosses over.

Jack Carty’s subsequent conversion goes narrowly wide.

Flag 25Mins

Connacht are really getting into the game now, following that early Toulouse spell of dominance.

A well-struck Jack Carty penalty reduces the deficit to one point.

Flag 29Mins

Toulouse are penalised for being offside and Carty puts Connacht ahead for the first time with the boot.

It’s been incredible how quickly the tide has turned in this game — a half of two halves.

32Mins

More frustration for Toulouse.

A Sébastien Bézy penalty from distance drifts wide — his first unsuccessful attempt from the boot.

35Mins

Yann David powers over in the corner to restore Toulouse’s lead, following a well-worked attack.

Bézy misses the conversion.

It’s wonderful rugby from Toulouse, who have come to life after that shaky spell, with Jean-Marc Doussain eventually crossing over after some lovely interplay.

Bézy makes no mistake with the conversion in front of the posts.

Interestingly, with only a few seconds left until half-time, Connacht earned a penalty — they opted to kick it to touch rather than going for the posts.

Pat Lam’s men may end up regretting that decision.

It was a very entertaining and unpredictable first half.

Toulouse started and ended the opening 40 minutes impressively, though there was enough in between to suggest Connacht are still capable of winning this game.

Going forward they have been impressive, but the Irish side look vulnerable every time Toulouse enter their 22.

45Mins

A great break by Aki gets the home crowd excited.

Toulouse are probably fortunate to get away without a yellow after a very high tackle on Adeolokun.

Carty’s attempt from the resulting penalty is poor, and the score stays the same.

47Mins

First change for Connacht as Caolin Blade is replaced by Kieran Marmion.

Florian Fritz throws a pass to no one, but the referee brings it back for a Toulouse penalty.

The second half hasn’t quite been as free-flowing as the first, but it remains an intriguing encounter.

54Mins

Sébastien Bézy misses a penalty straight in front of the posts, as Toulouse fail to extend their advantage.

It’s still a very tense, closely fought affair.

55Mins

JP Cooney has replaced Conor Carey in the Connacht frontrow.

56Mins

The Toulouse team take to the field to start the second half The Toulouse team take to the field to start the second half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

57Mins

More changes for Connacht.

Shane Delahunt and Sean O’Brien replace Dave Heffernan and Eoin McKeon.

60Mins

Great patience from Connacht is eventually rewarded.

Sustained pressure looked set to come to nothing, but eventually, a superb pass from Carty finds O’Halloran, who finishes expertly in the corner.

Carty fails to convert a difficult chance.

64Mins

Another promising attack results in a Connacht penalty.

Carty’s confidence isn’t high having missed a couple from the boot lately, so he kicks to the corner.

65Mins

Decent chance for Connacht, but Adeolokun overruns it and a knock-on ends the attack, though the official brings it back.

Meanwhile, O’Halloran is hobbling after taking a knock and it looks like he won’t continue.

69Mins

Aki sells his marker a dummy and brilliantly exploits a gap in the visitors’ defence to run in in the corner.

Ronaldson’s conversion puts Connacht back in front by two points.

70Mins

Maxime Médard is forced to nervously kick the ball out of play in his own 22.

The momentum is undoubtedly with Connacht now.

74Mins

Shane O’Leary replaces Bundee Aki, who has been superb.

Just over five minutes remain.

77Mins

Two and a half minutes left before your fingernails get some respite.

This has been an enthralling encounter.

79Mins

Connacht have the ball deep in their territory and are holding it up well…

What a game and what a result for Connacht!

The hosts deserve that for some superb attacking rugby and incredible resilience after finding themselves 10 points down at half-time.

Bundee Aki was at the heart of much of their good work in attack, and he is deservedly named the man of the match.

Toulouse will be sick having led for much of the game, but they ultimately could not halt Connacht’s increasing momentum in the second half.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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