Toulouse secure home Euro quarterfinal
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Toulouse rounded off the Champions Cup pool stages with a commanding 35-14 win over Gloucester, securing a home quarterfinal in the process.
It was the in-form Louis Rees-Zammit who gave Gloucester the early lead on four minutes. From the attacking line-out, they worked left and then back right with a kick wide to the young wing and he scooped up before diving over for the opening points.
It took Toulouse a bit of time to get into the game but they got their first try after 15 minutes. It came from a powerful driving maul and as it splintered, Joe Tekori took off and dived over the line.
Toulouse soon clicked into gear with flyhalf Romain Ntamack bagging a brace before the break. The first came after some lovely inter-changing passing and after the initial break from Antoine Dupont, play found Ntamack who sprinted clear to score at the posts.
And the second came after another delightful Dupont break and a few phases later, Ntamack bobbed and weaved past three Gloucester defenders for the try.
Just before the interval, Jason Woodward showed some resolve from the visitors as he was able to scoot round the Toulouse line and score at the posts, making it 21-14 at the break.
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But the hosts dominated in the second half, grabbing a bonus point try when Maxime Medard released Cheslin Kolbe down the left wing and after play was bundled to the ground, they found Julien Marchand who dotted down with ease.
A fifth try soon followed for Toulouse and it was Cyril Baille who delivered the telling blow after the powerful scrum forced penalty advantage once again.
But as Toulouse pushed for the try to clinch the No.2, they were penalised for a forward pass with the clock in the red, meaning they would have to settle for the No.3 seed and a home quarterfinal.
Tries: Tekori, Ntamack 2, Marchand, Baille
Cons: Ramos 5
Tries: Rees-Zammit, Woodward
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Yellow cards: Lloyd Evans (Gloucester, 27); Alex Craig (Gloucester, 67); Selevasio Tolofua (Toulouse, 67); Alex Seville (Gloucester, 80)
Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Arthur Bonneval, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Jerome Kaino (captain), 7 Francois Cros, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Clément Castets,
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Florian Verhaeghe, 20 Selevasio Tolofua, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 Pierre Fouyssac, 23 Maxime Médard.
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Jake Polledri, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Ciaran Knight, 2 Todd Gleave, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Tom Marshall.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Dave Sutherland (Scotland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)