Billy Stickland/INPHO

As It Happened: Bordeaux v Connacht, Leicester v Ulster - European rugby updates

It was a busy afternoon of Challenge Cup and Champions Cup action.

Hello, and welcome along to our live updates of this afternoon’s European rugby clashes.

Here’s what we’ll be looking at:

  • Challenge Cup: Bordeaux v Connacht, 3pm
  • Champions Cup: Leicester v Ulster, 3.15pm

While the Ulster game is live on BT Sport 2 and Connacht are streaming their clash on the province’s website, we’ll do our best to keep you updated here. As always, feel free to share any predictions and other thoughts in the comments section below.

Team news will follow.

With Connacht and Bordeaux up first, here’s a look at the teams that were announced yesterday:

Bordeaux Begles

15. Darly Domvo
14. Nicolas Plazy
13. Seta Tamanivalu
12. Ulupano Seuteni
11. George Tilsley
10. Lucas Meret
9. Baptiste Serin

1. Laurent Delboubes
2. Maxime Lamothe
3. Viliamu Afatia
4. Mariano Galarza
5. Cyril Cazeaux
6. Cameron Woki
7. Alexandre Roumat (captain)
8. Leroy Houston.


16. Adrien Pélissié
17. Jefferson Poirot
18. Vadim Cobilas
19. Afa Amosa
20. Nathan Decron
21. Jules Gimbert
22. Simon Desaubies
23. Geoffrey Cros.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Darragh Leader
13. Tom Farrell
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. David Horwitz
9. Stephen Kerins

1. Peter McCabe
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Gavin Thornbury
5. Quinn Roux (captain)
6. Paul Boyle
7. James Connolly
8. Eoin McKeon.


16. Jonny Murphy
17. Matthew Burke
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. James Cannon
20. Eoghan Masterson
21. Caolin Blade
22. Jack Carty
23. Eoin Griffin.

Connacht can round off an excellent week for the province by securing a Challenge Cup quarter-final berth in France today. Andy Friend’s side have the wind in their sails after that win over Sale Sharks and first Ireland call-ups for Caolin Blade, Jack Carty and Tom Farrell, and will look to build on that confidence as they face Bordeaux.

Bundee Aki arrives Bundee Aki arrives. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Now, a look at the Ulster and Leicester sides. Ulster have confirmed that there are no late changes to the team named yesterday, but of course we’ll bring any other developments to your attention.

Leicester Tigers

15. Jonah Holmes
14. Jonny May
13. Manu Tuilagi
12. Matt Toomua
11. Jordan Olowofela
10. George Ford (capt)
9. Ben Youngs

1. Greg Bateman
2. Jake Kerr
3. Dan Cole
4. Mike Fitzgerald
5. Graham Kitchener
6. Mike Williams
7. Brendon O’Connor
8. Sione Kalamafoni.


16. Ross McMillan
17. Facundo Gigena
18. Joe Heyes
19. Harry Wells
20. Will Evans
21. Ben White
22. Joe Ford
23. Sam Aspland-Robinson.


15. Louis Ludik
14. Robert Baloucoune
13. Will Addison
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Billy Burns
9. Dave Shanahan

1. Eric O’Sullivan
2. Rory Best (Capt.)
3. Marty Moore
4. Iain Henderson
5. Kieran Treadwell
6. Sean Reidy
7. Jordi Murphy
8. Marcell Coetzee.


16. Rob Herring
17. Andy Warwick
18. Ross Kane
19. Alan O’Connor
20. Nick Timoney
21. John Cooney
22. Michael Lowry
23. Darren Cave.

Ulster meanwhile visit Leicester at Welford Road in the slightly later Champions Cup kick-off, and a win there would give the northern province a shot at top spot in Pool 4 — depending on Racing 92′s result against Scarlets.

Dan McFarland’s side are, of course, bidding to reach the knockout stages for the first time in five years — and they’re boosted by the return of Iain Henderson.

Iain Henderson arrives Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

And listening…. although you won’t get to catch much of that — if you haven’t already — as the clock runs down unfortunately.

Ahead of the final weekend of European pool games, Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey look at what each of the provinces can expect, and who impressed last weekend:

Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42 / SoundCloud

KICK-OFF: Bordeaux 0 Connacht 0

Off we go as the hosts get us underway.

3 mins – Bordeaux 0 Connacht 0

We’ve had two scrums already but Bordeaux are settling in much easier. There’s a penalty off the back of the second one and they go for the line, dominate the line-out and Connacht are scrambling for a bit of possession here.

6 mins – Connacht eventually forced the knock-on there but Bordeaux are back in possession. It’s scrappy enough as the sides settle in, plenty of errors but Eoin McKeon has just stepped up with a nice early hit on his return to action.

8 mins - Connacht’s scrummaging has improved come the fourth of the game, they force the penalty and Horwitz finds touch on the Bordeaux 10m line. A boost for Connacht then as Baptiste Serin is shown a yellow card moments after.

TRY for Connacht! 

11 mins – Connacht 5 Bordeaux 0

Matt Healy got the try in the corner off the back of a line-out, a brilliant move. It was pretty much their first time in the Bordeaux 22 and they took full advantage. Horwitz misses the conversion, but still, a nice start for Connacht.

13 mins - It must be said, there was some lovely work from Bundee Aki in the build-up there, and Connacht are forcing Bordeaux mistakes here and getting on top as they charge at the French side.

KICK-OFF: Leicester 0 Ulster 0

The hosts have just gotten us underway across the water.

16 mins – Connacht 5 Bordeaux 3

The hosts have their first points on the board with a penalty right in front of the posts.

4 mins – Leicester 0 Ulster 0

There’s been an error-ridden start to proceedings at Leicester meanwhile. Ulster are pressing the hosts now as ‘Ulster, Ulster’ rings around the ground. Leicester deal with the pressure accordingly though and attack at pace. A little bit of end-to-end stuff at early doors.

TRY for Connacht!

19 mins – Connacht 12 Bordeaux 3

This time it’s Quinn Roux. What a brilliant start for the captain for the day, and the visitors, in France. Horwitz converts.

Our man Murray Kinsella is at Welford Road.

Follow him on Twitter @Murray_Kinsella for updates like this:

Connacht 12 Bordeaux 10 

It’s game on in France with Bordeaux over for their first try and they add the extras to make it a two-point game.

10 mins – Leicester 0 Ulster 0 

We’re still scoreless over in England but one thing’s for sure, Jacob Stockdale has been immense for Ulster so far. His composure was really important there with Leicester on the front foot and looking dangerous, and his team will take serious inspiration from that.

26 mins – Bordeaux 13 Connacht 12 

Bordeaux take the lead with a massive penalty from the half-way line, off the boot of Lucas Meret.

14 mins – Leicester 0 Ulster 0

Ulster youngster Robert Baloucoune slipped up there, he should have made a clean catch but knocked it on. Leicester look dangerous off the back of the scrum, racing forward, and Ulster look to be in trouble here.

16 mins – Leicester 0 Ulster 0

Youngs makes a real dart at Ulster there and they pressure rises. The northern province really haven’t gotten into the game yet, Leicester are dominating on all fronts. They win their own line-out there and we go again.

33 mins – Bordeaux 12 Connacht 12 

We’re just over the half-hour mark in France and the same score stands, Bordeaux with a narrow lead. It’s tight and tense for Connacht but Matt Healy, the first try-scorer, has been making gains and made up some nice yards there to push his side on.

TRY for Connacht!

35 mins – Connacht 19 Bordeaux 13

And right at the perfect time! Tiernan O’Halloran gets over, finishing off a superb team move, after more epic work from Healy to put Connacht in the driving seat again. Conversion’s good — 19-13.

24 mins – Ulster 0 Leicester 0

“The boys have had to work very hard defensively. Nothing’s going to be easy today, the boys have to keep fighting,” Jared Payne tells BT Sport mid-game as he watches his Ulster side.

He’s right. It’s a real battle out there as both sides look to break the deadlock.

HALF-TIME: Bordeaux 20 Connacht 19

The hosts hit back with a converted try to put them one-point up at the break.

28 mins – Leicester 0 Ulster 0

This one really is tit-for-tat, back and forth, a see-saw, whatever you want to call it…. and we’re still scoreless. The Tigers do look sharper, it must be said. Ulster are really struggling from the line-out and they’re making no platform for their attack.

31 mins – Leicester 3 Ulster 0

George Ford makes it 13 from his last 13 kicks as he nails a penalty to finally open the scoring. Iain Henderson was penalised for holding on

33 mins – Ulster 0 Leicester 3

Ulster have a real opportunity after Leicester commit an unforced error, overcooking a field-length kick, leading to a scrum. We’ve had a lengthy delay with some repairs to be attended to across the field, but off we go again.

36 mins – Leicester 3 Ulster 0 

McCloskey has come through with two big carries off the back of that but Ulster are making too many errors here, with their attacks just coming to nothing over and over. First scrum penalty of the day goes to Leicester inside their half, they kick to touch and Ulster may get ready to defend again.

38 mins – Leicester 3 Ulster 0

Handling errors have been such a huge blight on this game so far and it looks like the Tigers could grab a try here before the break. Ulster are clutching at straws to keep them out.

TRY for Leicester! Well….. they’re going to the TMO but it looked good. Yes, try, right on the stroke of the break. 

HALF-TIME: Leicester 10 Ulster 0

Forde splits the Ulster players with a lovely grubber through and Matt Toomua runs behind to score. Forde adds the extras to make it 10-0 at the break.

George Ford kicks at goal Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

SECOND-HALF: Bordeaux 20 Connacht 19

After all that excitement in Welford Road, we almost forgot about the happenings in France! We’re back underway there with 43 minutes on the clock. Bordeaux thought they were in for a third try there but it’s called back for a knock-on. It’s been error-ridden from the restart, the mistakes coming from both sides.

Ulster fans, what do you lot reckon?


49 mins – Bordeaux 27 Connacht 19

The hosts grab another try, and Connacht will be again disappointed with another mistake causing it. Baptiste Serin gets it and they convert. 

Some Connacht changes here with the big guns coming in, while Bordeaux have had some of their own too.

52 mins – Bordeaux 27 Connacht 19

Much, much better from Connacht here with hard, direct running led by Roux and Aki. They’re SO close to another try but Tom Farrell is held up past the line and they have a 5m scrum now.

Stephen Kerins Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

55 mins – Bordeaux 27 Connacht 19 

That scrum took a fair while to set up, with the referee then talking to some players before take two. Connacht win the penalty from the scrum in front of the posts, and opt for another.

JAYSIS, that all crumbled anyway… Ulster give away a penalty and now the hosts have a line-out on their 10m line. How things change…

SECOND HALF: Leicester 10 Ulster 0

We’re back underway across the water with a big 40 ahead for McFarland’s charges. They really fell behind at the end of the first half and look to narrow the deficit as quickly as they can.

Sale have their bonus point which means Connacht obviously can’t top their pool — we doubt they’re worried about that at this stage as they try to get their own house in order and stay in the competition.

46 mins – Leicester 10 Ulster 0

And it’s pretty much as you were across the water as Leicester work their way inside the Ulster half. The northern province are yet to have any sustained period of possession in or around the Leicester 22, and they’re on the backfoot as Ford — with a nasty looking eye injury — and Leicester charge at them.

50 mins – Leicester 13 Ulster 0 

McFarland’s men finally string a few phases together… but then there’s a turnover and they concede a penalty for a high tackle. Ford steps up and Leicester extend the difference to 13.

67 mins – Bordeaux 27 Connacht 19 

Jeeeez, this doesn’t look great for Connacht, does it? They’re coming under big pressure deep in their half as Bordeaux get the 5m line-out. Pressure is on at this stage. Bordeaux are looking for a score to finish this as a contest.

TRY for Connacht!

Ha, just as we say it, it’s game on and Connacht are most definitely back in this game with a Matt Healy try. This match has taken another twist!

70 mins – Bordeaux 27 Connacht 26

There was a huge turnover and Connacht ran it from deep, Bordeaux looking exhausted. Blade does most of the work, finds Aki, and Healy finishes it. Carty adds the extras and it’s a one-point game like that. HOW?

58 mins – Leicester 12 Ulster 0

Ulster are digging deep for a try elsewhere, they’re getting closer and closer. Penalty awarded before the posts, and Addison goes for the corner. Best’s throw is good, Henderson has it, Ulster are nicely placed……

TRY for Ulster!

59 mins – Leicester 13 Ulster 7

Ulster maul their way over the line off the line-out, Marty Moore with the last say. A badly-needed try, probably the most important of his career. Conversion’s good. Here we go!

TRY for Connacht!

God, the drama over in France!

79 mins – Connacht 33 Bordeaux 27

The Fields of Athenry ring around with two minutes on the clock after Jack Carty slammed down an intercept try. He converts and makes it 33-27. Amazing.

Quinn Roux Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

TRY for Ulster! Oh my God.

63 mins – Ulster 12 Leicester 13

This liveblog is mental, what a turnaround from Ulster and it’s that guy again BALOUCOUNE!!!!

64 mins – Ulster 14 Leicester 13

And Cooney converts again for a one-point lead. By God.

Meanwhile, it’s full-time in France and Connacht have won 33-27 and booked their Challenge Cup quarter-final spot! Touch and go for a while, but they’ve done it!

George Ford with David Shanahan and Stuart McCloskey Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

Ulster can take a deep breadth, a sigh of relief there……


70 mins – Ulster 14 Leicester 13 

10 minutes to go and it really is crunch time in this action-packed second half. Leicester are on the front foot here and well and truly on the attack.

73 mins – Ulster 14 Leicester 13

Just when they needed composure, Leicester give away a penalty right under the Ulster posts. Serious work from Rory Best there and Ulster clear to the line.

75 mins – Ulster 14 Leicester 13

We’re into the last five minutes and Stockdale is lording it…. Jonny May loses his footing, Stockdale takes possession but May shows true grit to make it back to him and bring him over the line.

77 mins – Ulster 14 Leicester 13

Ulster have possession and they’re happy to. But…… Will Evans, from the bench, has won a penalty for Leicester and they kick to touch winning as many yards as they can. There’s a problem with Leicester’s line-out and Ulster take the ball as we head into a scrum.

79 mins – Final minute of the match, Ulster’s work is done here after a HUGE second half. They’ll just look to keep possession and play the clock down. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

FULL-TIME: Ulster 14 Leicester 13 

Ulster are back in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup!!!!

Jacob Stockdale makes his way out Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

Well, now, there’s two crazy matches for you — but most importantly, two big wins for the Irish provinces as they progress in their respective European tournaments.

A reminder of the two full-time scores:

  • Challenge Cup: Bordeaux 27 Connacht 33
  • Champions Cup: Leicester 13 Ulster 14

That’s all we have time for but you can read both match reports on The42 and there’ll be much more reaction and analysis to come.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your evening.

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

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