Sunday 23 April 2017

Toulouse talk up Connacht's credentials

Hugh Farrelly

TOULOUSE are doing their best to talk up Connacht ahead of tomorrow's Heineken Cup clash at the Stade Ernest Wallon, claiming that Eric Elwood's men are capable of causing what would be one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.

Toulouse go into the contest as 1/100 favourites while their opponents are on a run of 13 defeats, but backs coach Jean-Baptiste Elissalde refuses to discount the Connacht challenge.

"It will be hard, losing to Connacht is possible, we have received lessons in the past in this competition so we will always be careful," said Elissalde, the former France scrum-half.

"Looking at Connacht's games so far, they nearly caught Harlequins in England and lost twice by small margins to Gloucester, so there is really nothing we will take for granted -- especially after shooting ourselves in the foot by losing at home to Harlequins.

"When we played them over there, a lot of things went our way that night, I do not think it will be that easy this weekend."

Hooker William Servat struck a similar note claiming: "This is a side that travels a lot, play with a lot of motivation and do not give anything away easily."

That surprise defeat last time out has left Guy Noves' side just a point ahead of Harlequins in Pool Six and they are demanding wins against Connacht and Gloucester in their final games to ensure progress to the quarter-finals as one of the top seeds.

"Qualification requires two victories and we have to give it everything," said Elissalde.

"You have to play out of your skin in the European Cup. There will be no thinking about what comes after this and the players running out against Connacht will give their maximum.

"We will have our heads on, to make sure we stay in control of our destiny."

Irish Independent

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