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Toulouse blitz Chiefs and sends message to Leinster

MATCH REPORT: Stade Toulousain took another step towards an unprecedented sixth European title with an emphatic 64-26 Champions Cup demolition of Exeter Chiefs at Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday.

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The nine tries to two victory booked them a semifinal face-off with another Premiership team, Harlequins, early next month

It sent a strong message to fellow favourites Leinster and the Irish province’s semifinal opposition, Premiership leaders Northampton Saints.

It was a competitive first half, with the French giants leading by just one point – 17-16.

However, four tries in a 10-minute blitz killed off any hope the Chiefs had of an upset – taking the score from 17-19 to 45-19.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

Euro Cop semifinals

Scottish fullback Blair Kinghorn scored 23 points to help guide Toulouse to a thrilling victory.

In scorching conditions in Toulouse, the home side was only a point ahead after a tight opening 40 minutes, but let rip with a dominant display in the second half.

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Henry Slade opened the scoring with a penalty for Exeter.

Toulouse responded with a slick try, Romain Ntamack finishing off a move with Matthis Lebel providing the crucial pass.

Kinghorn booted the extras, Slade then kicked his second penalty before Ethan Roots crashed over for Exeter’s first try from a close-range penalty move.

Kinghorn replied with a penalty. Slade hit his third on the half-hour mark.

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Toulouse flank Jack Willis showed what England is missing by brushing off an attempted tackle by Harvey Skinner to find himself with a clear run to the line.

A Kinghorn conversion handed Toulouse a 17-16 lead at half-time.

The visitors regained the advantage as Slade hit his fourth penalty early in the second period.

The lead was short-lived as Kinghorn jinked his way over for try he also converted.

In a hammer blow for Exeter, Lebel again turned provider, breaking through from a line-out move and finding Pita Ahki on his inside.

Kinghorn converted and suddenly the home side were 31-19 up.

The Scot crossed for his second try after Paul Costes and Juan Cruz Mallia kept the ball alive.

In a disastrous 10 minutes for Exeter, Antoine Dupont was next on the scoresheet, the scrumhalf displaying speed honed on the world sevens circuit to finish off a move started by a Willis burst.

Exeter grabbed their second try through replacement back Zack Wimbush before Argentina wing Mallia brought up Toulouse’s half-century thanks to a long Ntamack miss pass.

Ahki scored his second try after another break from the outstanding Willis.

Mallia then bagged his second with Exeter dead on their feet, Thomas Ramos missing the conversion in the only blot on Toulouse’s landscape in a remarkable display of rugby.

The scorers

For Stade Toulousain
Tries: Ntamack, Willis, Kinghorn 2, Ahki 2, Dupont, Mallia 2
Cons: Kinghorn 5, Ramos 3
Pen: Kinghorn

For Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Roots, Wimbush
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 4

Yellow card: Peato Mauvaka (Stade Toulousain, 16 – cynical foul, killing the ball in the tackle)

Teams

Stade Toulousain: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Juan Cruz Mallia, 13 Paul Costes, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Alexandre Roumat, 7 Fran├žois Cros, 6 Jack Willis, 5 Emmanuel Meafou, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Joel Merkler, 19 Thibaud Flament, 20 Joshua Brennan, 21 Paul Graou, 22 Thomas Ramos, 23 Santiago Chocobares.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Josh Hodge, 14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Tom Cairns, 8 Ross Vintcent, 7 Christ Tshiunza, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Dafydd Jenkins (captain), 4 Rusi Tuima, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Danny Southworth, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Lewis Pearson, 20 Greg Fisilau, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Zack Wimbush.

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eoghan Cross (Ireland), Andy Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Mark Patton (Ireland)

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