Kolbe back, but Toulouse sweats over Huget injury
TOP 14 SATURDAY WRAP: Scrumhalf Antoine Dupont said he was worried for Yoann Huget, after the France wing suffered an Achilles injury as Toulouse went five points clear in the French Top 14 with a 34-16 home win over Racing 92.
Huget, 33, who has already announced he will retire at the end of the season, is now a doubt for next Saturday’s European Champions Cup semifinal tie with Bordeaux-Begles.
“It affected us a lot, his injury. Despite his age, he’s always there and always has an unquestionable mindset,” Dupont said.
“It always hurts to see players injured on the field. I hope we’ll have news of him soon, hoping it’s not too bad even if it didn’t seem too good.”
Earlier, Bordeaux-Begles recorded another COVID-19 case after registering seven since the Champions Cup quarterfinal victory over Racing in April.
According to Champions Cup rules, a team will forfeit a game if they have one or more positive tests from testing three days prior to kick-off.
Toulouse coach Ugo Mola welcomed back a host of front-line players – including South Africa’s World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe, as well as France halfbacks Dupont and Romain Ntamack, who were rested for last weekend’s derby defeat to Castres.
Despite those selections, Mola chose to keep the likes of Jerome Kaino and Pita Ahki fresh for their third straight semifinal appearance.
France centre Gael Fickou was named on the bench for the visitors after his midweek move from Parisian rivals Stade Francais.
The away side led 13-9 after half an hour as Huget scored in sublime fashion after a Dupont break.
Huget’s match turned sour five minutes later as he left the field with a reported Achilles tear and is likely to have played the last game of his career which included 62 Test appearances.
Mola’s men had a 20-9 advantage at the break as referee Pascal Gauzere awarded a penalty try and showed Australia centre Kurtley Beale a yellow card for an early tackle as Zack Holmes attempted to score.
With a quarter of an hour left, there were 11 points between the two sides after home centre Pierre Fouyssac and away lock Boris Palu crossed to make it 27-16.
Scrumhalf Dupont claimed the bonus point with 12 minutes to go as he broke free to dive over unopposed and was substituted, to be saved for the semi-final, after scoring his ninth try of the season.
Earlier, Lyon captain Dylan Cretin said Josua Tuisova “makes rugby easy” after the Fiji wing scored twice in the 41-30 home win over 14-man Clermont to move them to fifth in the standings.
Tuisova’s efforts came either side of the break as the Olympic gold medallist made his first start for a month after being sidelined with a calf injury.
“Josh played really well. Rugby is easy when Josh scores on his own,” Cretin said.
“We’re happy with the win. Clermont put us under pressure. We could have made things easier for ourselves,” he added.
Stade Francais kept their play-off hopes alive with a 46-32 victory over struggling Pau in the capital.
The Parisians went to within four points of Bordeaux-Begles.
Pau, who will have a new signing in South African World Cup winner Elton Jantjies available for next month’s trip to Agen after the flyhalf finished his COVID-19 isolation, stay three points adrift of safety, with four matches of their season left.
Postponed matches: Brive versus La Rochelle, Bayonne versus La Rochelle, Bordeaux-Begles versus Montpellier, Toulon versus Agen