Clermont Auvergne prove to be too strong for Connacht
Connacht got the new rugby season up and running in France last night, but not in the way they would have hoped as they were thrashed 42-7 by Clermont Auvergne in Issoire.
The first of the Irish provinces into action for the new campaign trailed 35-0 at half-time against the former French champions, who will open their Top 14 campaign at home to Bernard Jackman's Grenoble next Saturday.
Coach Pat Lam selected a different starting 15 for each half, but they were outgunned by a Clermont side who were putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the coming season.
Connacht's only reprieve in a game at the end of their five-day camp in France came with a try from debutant Niyi Adeolokun, with the Trinity man's touchdown being converted by Darragh Leader.
Connacht's only other pre-season clash before they open their Guinness Pro12 campaign at home to Newport Gwent Dragons will be away to Wasps on August 23.