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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Mafileo Kefu try for Toulon against Connacht

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 weren’t able to breach the Toulon defense as the big spending French side soaked up the pressure.

Connacht coach Michael Bradley was proud of his side’s 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.

Time: 02:03



  • Kefu had an awesome match, always dangerous in attack and defense. Toulon are just a step higher than all the teams in the Amlin Cup. Hell if they don't win it they should feel disappointed, as their budget is ten times as big as those of the other clubs.
    Good game to watch yesterday overall. But although Connacht were brave,they were never going to win it i reckon

    By Blogger Oli, at May 01, 2010 8:43 pm  

  • I dunno about that, Oli. Connacht put in over 150 tackles and only gave up one try - mostly because their first half scrumming wasn't as good as Toulon's.

    I don't know if I'd say Toulon were really THAT far above Connacht. There was more than one chance for Connacht to score, but Toulon stood strong in their defense when they had to as well.

    Pretty good match overall...I was rooting for the underdogs, though.

    By Anonymous Fat Tire, at May 01, 2010 8:55 pm  

  • Congrats Toulon and hard luck Con, tackling was awesome. If Munster and Leinster showed that heart and commitment they would be HC champs every year. Thanks for the clips of the boys in green RD, hope next season we can merit more on this great site.

    Proud Westerner

    By Blogger Tom, at May 01, 2010 9:14 pm  

  • sick line

    By Anonymous Chris Boy, at May 01, 2010 11:04 pm  

  • tom, connacht showed great heart, but when has munster in particular not shown that commitment in a heineken cup match?

    By Blogger Paul Gormley, at May 01, 2010 11:41 pm  

  • ^ Their first match against Northampton?

    By Anonymous blue steel, at May 02, 2010 12:20 am  

  • have to say,as a stout connacht supporter who was at the match yesterday,i have never been more proud of the boys in green.they showed real heart,commitment,and determination,and were very unlucky not to win.what this clip doesn't show is the blatant toulon knock-on that barnes somehow missed before this scrum,or the 20 mins connacht spent camped on the toulon line.
    hopefully munster will do connacht a favour and win the heineken cup,so connacht get automatic qualification to the competition,and maybe begin to start a rugby revolution in the west.


    By Anonymous Ireland for WC 2011, at May 02, 2010 12:45 am  

  • Can anyone answer why players are padding their biceps now?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2010 12:53 am  

  • Ireland for WC 2011 I was wondering the same thing about the knock-on. Unless I was seeing things, it looked amazingly obvious that Toulon knocked it on, and it was just before half-time, so they shouldn't have been allowed to get this field-position for the try.

    By Anonymous Kearney for tests, at May 02, 2010 1:35 am  

  • Eight (or maybe ten ?) scrums stopped by Irish faults and no penalty try. It was certainly a nice joke but it could have been really dangerous for the players who spent ten bloody minutes being crashed.

    By Blogger Pitseleh, at May 02, 2010 2:31 am  

  • What's this about if Munster win the Heineken Cup that Connacht will also Qualify?????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2010 2:32 am  

  • it was a fairly shocking first half display from both sides, but to be fair, connacht did put up a hell of a fight.
    as the commentator said earlier in the game, theyre entire budget is about double what johnny wilkinson earns on his own!!

    i reckon the part where the cameraman gets taken out will be on the friday funnies at some point in the future?

    By Blogger Mikee, at May 02, 2010 2:36 am  

  • makes me miss the old sportsground. great camerawork too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2010 3:24 am  

  • Thanx to Connacht fans who were warm and friendly hosts for the ones of us who travelled to Galway. It was not a great game, it was a huge game of your team. With big heart and proudness until the end.

    In the south eastern France, we heard the impressive sportsground shouts, more noisy that some biggers english stadiums : what a great support !

    I hope the Connacht could add soon 1 or 2 high level players for the management of tactic on the field, bring up the whole team and you could win these kind of game.

    Not a beautiful game of Toulon, based on defense and having big huge games these last weeks in Top 14.

    Hope to meet you again !

    A Toulon fan.

    By Anonymous 4LC4TR4Z, at May 02, 2010 9:22 am  

  • You don't say proudness, pride is more appropriated, isn't it ?

    Sorry for my awful english.

    By Anonymous 4LC4TR4Z, at May 02, 2010 9:23 am  

  • connacht showed great heart but Toulon were too strong. Nice match!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2010 10:28 am  

  • "what this clip doesn't show is the blatant toulon knock-on that barnes somehow missed before this scrum"

    i'm glad i'm not the only one who saw it. that would have ended the half and left out the 10 minutes of scrumming, which was also ridiculously reffed.

    maybe i was being a bit bias as being a Blues supporter, i would like to have seen the final in kingsholm!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 02, 2010 11:36 am  

  • Im proud as hell of the lads, they are disappointed not to have made the final but nobody can say that they didnt fight to get there. That is right up there with our biggest games in history, playing South Africa and all. We will be back next year, will find out in a few hours if Munster can provide us a lifeline of Heineken Cup qualification by reaching the final... I really enjoyed the game, besides that phase of scrummaging it was high tempo stuff throughout.

    By Anonymous Westerner, at May 02, 2010 1:18 pm  

  • While I know Connacht Rugby has a few imports, many New Zealanders. The bulk of their squad is Irish, and their imports are unknowns, none at international level and I doubt any at super 14 level but I feel for them, which is odd because I hate the Irish wish a passion. A

    As a Frenchman I am disappointed with Toulon, sure they are top of the Top 14 this year, but much like Chelsea the soccer team, they have bought their way there. So many infact, you could make a full match 22 out of foriegners, and still be an extremely good team.

    My hat goes off to Connacht this year, you beat Leinster and Munster and really showed everyone the Irish fighting spirit.

    By Anonymous Les Bleus, at May 02, 2010 8:39 pm  

  • Les Bleus ? Would you be one of these very upset supporters of Clermont or Montauban jealous and acid that never won anything ?

    Some didn't like that Toulon walked on their men this year. Wonder why ?


    By Anonymous 4LC4TR4Z, at May 03, 2010 8:16 am  

  • I don't believe Les Blues is a Frenchman at all. He writes in perfect english every time, and speaks about a lot of SH rugby, often. Just a confused dude imo. lol
    Oh and also a 'pro' apparently ;)

    By Anonymous Scotsdale, at May 03, 2010 9:52 am  

  • Paul Gormley said...
    tom, connacht showed great heart, but when has munster in particular not shown that commitment in a heineken cup match?

    This weekend is a good example Im afraid.

    Les Blues so you hate us with a passion? What a pathetic ignorant fool you are, piss off back under the rock you crawled out of.

    Gavin Duffy, Sean Cronin and John Muldoon should be in the Ireland squad for the november tests, they have been awesome.

    By Blogger Tom, at May 03, 2010 10:50 pm  

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