Defeated Connacht buoyed by memorable Galway day

THE Sportsground made a memorable Heineken Cup debut for Connacht's 36-10 defeat to Toulouse, with a 9,120 crowd creating a wonderful, rollicking atmosphere that was as relentless as it was cacophonic.

The French giants put in an assured first half display, Lionel Beauxis proving accurate with the boot and Jean Bouilhou claiming a try. Miah Nikora opened Connacht's account and the 22-3 half-time deficit grew as Toulouse remained in control. A controversial penalty try put the result beyond any doubt and Yannick Nyanga barged through for the visitors' third and final try.

However, the prevailing feeling of pride among home supporters afterwards was diluted by a sense of regret that their team could not give Toulouse a better game.

"We are disappointed," admitted forwards coach Dan McFarland. "We didn't get ourselves into the game - whether that was due to the occasion or Toulouse squeezing the life out of the game."