Toulouse set up quarter-final with Racing
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Toulouse will play domestic rivals Racing 92 in the quarter-finals after edging past Bath Rugby in a hard-fought encounter, defeating the English side 20-17 at the Stade Ernest-Wallon.
The four-time European champions qualify second from Pool 1 – behind Leinster Rugby – on 21 points and will head to the French capital at the end of March in an all-French battle.
The hosts got off to a strong start with Samoan lock Joe Tekori the benefactor of a well-worked maul in open play to power over the try line. Australian Zach Holmes made the conversion to put the French side 7-0 up.
Flyhalves Rhys Priestland and Holmes both traded penalties before the hosts added their second try through Man of the Match Antoine Dupont. The scrumhalf took advantage of a loose ball near Bath’s try line to cross over for an opportunistic try. Holmes added the extras to extend Toulouse’s advantage to 14 points.
The visitors rallied late on to provide a scare for Toulouse supporters inside a sold-out Stade Ernest-Wallon, with England internationals Semesa Rokoduguni and Zach Mercer scoring converted tries either side of a Thomas Ramos penalty. Both their efforts were converted by Priestland.
But Toulouse managed to hang on for the win and reach the last eight of the Champions Cup.
Tries: Tekori, Dupont
Cons: Holmes 2
Pens: Holmes, Ramos
Tries: Rokoduguni, Mercer
Cons: Priestland 2
Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Romain Ntamack, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Julien Marchand (captain), 1 Clément Castets.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Piula Faasalele, 20 Alban Placines, 21 Selevasio Tolofua, 22 Sébastien Bézy, 23 Thomas Ramos.
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Darren Atkins, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Josh Bayliss, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Luke Charteris (captain), 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Michael van Vuuren, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Alex Davies, 23 Max Wright.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)