All Black helps Toulouse reach last eight
MATCH REPORT: Four-time winners Toulouse qualified for the Champions Cup quarter-finals with a 21-7 win over Connacht on Saturday.
The French side hit back from conceding an early try to score three of their own at a packed Sportsground.
Nine points clear at the top of Pool 5 before kick-off, the French club made it five wins from five rounds, scoring five-pointers through skipper Jerome Kaino, hooker Julien Marchand and centre Pita Ahki, all of which Thomas Ramos converted.
After going 7-0 down, @StadeToulousain are in control at HT 😬
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 11, 2020
Connacht Rugby could not have wished for a better start when they were awarded a penalty try after a maul was brought down and Toulouse flank Joe Tekori was yellow-carded after 10 minutes.
However, a yellow card for Connacht flank Colby Fainga’a evened things up and Toulouse capitalised when Kaino was adjudged to have touched down following a line-out.
Ramos converted and the TOP 14 club then took control, but had to wait until just before the break for their second try from Marchand following a driving maul. Ramos again added the extras.
Toulouse didn’t need to wait long for their third try, though, Ahki diving on a loose ball in the in-goal area on 45 minutes after Antoine Dupont had charged down Jack Carty’s kick.
However, the French club achieved the victory the hard way in the end after finishing the game with 13 men following a yellow card for replacement Yoann Huget and a red for flyhalf Zack Holmes.
Tries: Penalty try
Tries: Kaino, Marchand, Ahki
Cons: Ramos 3
Yellow cards: Colby Fainga’a (Connacht, 15) Joe Tekori (Toulouse, 10), Yoann Huget (Toulouse, 71)
Red Card: Zack Holmes (Toulouse, 73)
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Stephen Kerins, 8 Jarrad Butler (captain), 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Paul Boyle, 5 Gavin Thornbury, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Paddy McAllister
Replacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Dominic Roberston-McCoy, 19 Joe Makysmiw, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 David Horwitz, 23 John Porch
Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Arthur Bonneval, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Selevasio Tolofua, 7 Jerome Kaino (captain), 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Clement Castets
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Alban Placines, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Yoann Huget
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), Simon McConnell (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)