Easy Win for Toulouse
CONNACHT’S fairytale Heineken Cup win over Toulouse in France was reversed in Galway on Saturday as the visitors recorded a 37-9 win at the Showgrounds.
The westerners’ dressing room was hit by a flu bug in the lead-up to the game, and coach Pat Lam was adamant his team deserved praise afterwards.
He said, “No doubt Toulouse are a good side, but I am so proud of my team. Their heart was probably more than last weekend after the week they have had.
“We had Kieran Marmion on a drip 48 hours ago in hospital and then Frank Murphy going down, so then we put Paul O’Donoghue back and then he went down too, so we had no half-back.
“We had to see how far Kieran could go. To get 80 minutes from Kieran after that was unbelievable.
Dave McSharry we only saw today and he was unbelievable. Right throughout the team the heart was unbelievable.
“Today we’re disappointed we lost that and we gave away points that left us chasing the game against a pretty massive team.
“I am an extremely proud coach. Even with two minutes to go the crowd kept the boys going and they kept trying, so what I asked was for them to do was front up heart-wise and commitment-wise, and it was even better than last week.”
Meanwhile, Ulster remain in control of their own destiny in Pool 5 of the Heineken Cup after a 35-3 bonus point win over Treviso in Italy.
Director of rugby David Humphreys said after the win, “When we mapped out the season we said we wanted to be top of the table in the Heineken Cup at the end of round four and we are sitting well at the moment.”
RUGBY: London Irish coach Brian Smith has been promised significant funds to strengthen his squad next season after the takeover of the club by a consortium of businessmen in the English capital. Smith has already agreed a deal to sign Ulster prop Tom Court in the summer . . .
CRICKET: Trent Johnson has been appointed coach to the Ireland ladies team just days after retiring from the men’s side following their Intercontinental Cup final win over Afghanistan . . .
RUGBY: Prop Cian Healy is a doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations campaign after surgery on an ankle injury that will keep him out of action for the rest of the Heineken Cup pool games . . .
SWIMMING: Ireland’s Barry Murphy won a bronze medal in the 50 meter breaststroke at the European Short Course championships in Denmark on Saturday . . .
RACING: Willie Mullins broke his own record for the fastest century of winners by a trainer in an Irish jumps season with a treble at Fairyhouse on Saturday . . .
RUGBY: Anthony Foley and Neil Doak will take charge of the Irish Wolfhounds for their Six Nations campaign after Christmas . . .
RUGBY: Young Leinster prop Martin Moore is ready to commit his future to a long term contract with the Irish province . . .
RUGBY: Donnacha Ryan has signed a three-year contract extension with Munster.