Connacht’s stand-in captain Quinn Roux said that while few outside of their squad believed they would win at Stade Ernest-Wallon, the team were bitterly disappointed not to secure victory in Toulouse.
While there were many positives to take from a superb performance by an understrength side, the Irish international insisted Connacht really thought they could repeat their shock 2013 win.
He said pre-game commentary that the missing players would prove a significant hurdle to the visitors drove them on in a game where they led going into the final quarter but fell to a late Toulouse barrage that garnered a 32-17 win.
“That gave us the extra bit of confidence because outside of this changing room there probably wasn’t many people thinking we could come and win this game,” said Roux.
“That first half showed we can compete at the highest level. It gave us huge confidence. Towards the end we just let it slip. Too many penalties and that let us down.
“But especially after that first half, we were right in it. We played really well in that first half. We came out in the second half, got the lead back as well, and that led to a seriously gutted changing room afterwards. We let it slip towards the end and it is hugely disappointing because we were in it to win it. We had huge belief coming over here that we were capable of winning.”
The South African says Connacht will go into the back-to-back clashes against Gloucester with confidence after their win over Montpellier and their performance in Toulouse, both achieved with weakened sides.
‘We have one league game now against the Kings and then we are into the back-to-back European games so that is going to be huge for us.
“We can take confidence out of this game but we are hugely disappointed. We didn’t come here just to compete, we showed we were capable. Just a bit disappointing towards the end there.”