Castres prevail as Lam checks out his options
Castres 19 Connacht 5
Rodney Ah You got Connacht’s only try in a good work-out against Castres in Saint-Affrique last night.
The game was part of a five-day camp in France by Connacht and coach Pat Lam used the occasion to give a run-out to a large number of players.
It was a decent contest too with neither side holding back and a few flare-ups was testimony to a good encounter.
Castres, almost relegated last season and being French champions and runners-up in the previous two years, led 12-0 at the break thanks to tries from Roman Martial and Geoffrey Palis.
Bundee Aki crossed for what seemed a Connacht try after good pressure on 12 minutes but the score was whistled back for crossing.
But Connacht were rewarded after the restart when Ah You finished off a good Connacht move to reduce the margin.
However, Castres, who open their Top 14 campaign away to Bordeaux Begles next weekend, had the last say when Florian Vialelle crossed six minutes from time.
Scorers – Castres: R Martial, G Palis, F Vialelle, tries. B Urdapilleta, J Dumora, cons. Connacht: R Ah You, try.
Castres – G Palis; D Smith, R Wulf, S Sivivatu, R Martial; B Urdapilleta, J Seron; Y Forestier, B Mach, L Martinez; C Samson, R Capo Ortega; I Diarra, M Babillot, A Tulou.
Reps used: A Tichu, M Bonello, Y Montes, T Hannoyer, B Desroches, A Jelonch, A Dupoont, J Dumora, F Fontaine, F Vialelle, L Decrop.
Connacht – D Leader; T O’Halloran, R Parata, B Aki, D Poolman; S O’Leary, J Cooney; F Bealham, D Heffernan, R Ah You; B Marshall, D Qualter; E McKeon, N Fox-Matamua, E Masterson. Reps used: D Buckley, T McCartney, S Delahunt, R Ah You, Q Roux, U Dillane, A Browne, J Muldoon, J Connolly
Fionn Carr, Matt Healy, Api Pewharangi, J Carty, C Ronaldson, K Marmion.
Ref– C Marchat