Round Three was the start of back-to-back home and away fixtures that could make or break Heineken Cup dreams.
There were plenty of standout performances this weekend with Leinster showing their pedigree with a 40-7 demolition of Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens, and Leicester were superb in their 41-32 win over Montpellier.
However, it was Connacht who delivered arguably the biggest shock in the history of the Heineken Cup as they went to Stade Ernest-Wallon and beat four-time champions Toulouse.
It is little wonder that they dominate Will Greenwood’s Picks of the Week…
Team of the week: Connacht
The whipping boys of Ireland produced one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Heineken Cup. To go to one of the toughest places to play rugby and get a result against one of the giants of Europe is incredible. They have two home games left – the rematch against Toulouse and then Zebre. If they win those two and get a bonus point against Zebre, well they are well in this pool.
Player of the week: Connacht
I make no excuses for giving it to the whole squad after that performance. They all played their part in not only shocking Toulouse but sending a tremor through the whole of the Heineken Cup.
Try of the week: Kieran Marmion
Yes, that little bit of magic from Brian O’Driscoll to set up Luke Fitzgerald’s second try was impressive but I’m giving it to the Connacht No.9 fullback. Robbie Henshaw and winger Fionn Carr did great work up the touchline that was finished when Marmion burrowed over – the TMO had to be consulted but it all ended well for the Galway lads.
You don’t go to France and win that often, no matter where you go. However Toulouse had not been beaten at Stade Ernest-Wallon for five years in the Heineken Cup and the Connacht players will remember this moment for the rest of their lives. It is a huge, huge result for them.
Villain of the week: The French clubs
Once again they showed that they cannot or will not travel. Their results record away from home has to be a huge concern, especially in this professional era.