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'Incredible' third double for Toulouse

REPORT: A superb Antoine Dupont said on Friday it was “incredible” for Toulouse to secure a domestic and Champions Cup double with victory in the French Top 14 Final as he scored twice in a 59-3 rout of Bordeaux Begles

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Scrumhalf Dupont, 27, made his contributions early in the second half as the holders claimed both trophies in one season for a third time with a record score.

Bordeaux Begles had just one Maxime Lucu penalty on the scoreboard as they conceded nine tries in their first appearance in a Final in either competition.

“I’m very happy, it’s incredible for the history of the club and these guys,” Dupont told Canal+.

“I think I’ve achieved much more than I could have dreamt of as a child.

“I have to realise that but not too much as to keep dreaming,” the 2021 World Rugby player of the year added.

Humid and warm conditions in front of a sold-out 67,000-capacity Stade Velodrome welcomed both sides, with Paris’ Stade de France out of use due to the upcoming Olympic Games.

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Bordeaux Begles were handed a big boost as France flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert and Tonga loosehead prop Ben Tameifuna were passed fit after they had missed last Saturday’s semifinal win over Stade Francais.

Toulouse started without first-choice loosehead Cyril Baille, who suffered a serious ankle injury in the last four victory over La Rochelle.

Giant front row Tameifuna wore a Tongan flag as the French national anthem rang around the Velodrome with French president Emmanuel Macron absent.

Toulouse were quick out of the blocks as Dupont crossed after just six minutes in his final game before France’s Olympic sevens squad is named on July 8.

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In the build-up to the try, the video referee adjudged Bordeaux Begles’ No.8 Tevita Tatafu had made a high tackle and referee Ludovic Cayre showed the Japan back row a yellow card.

By the time Tatafu had returned to the field Toulouse led 10-3 after 16 minutes as fullback Thomas Ramos added to his conversion of Dupont’s first touchdown with a penalty in response to Maxime Lucu’s three-pointer for Bordeaux Begles.

Total control

By the 25-minute mark Toulouse and a majestic Dupont were in total control.

Dupont set-up hooker Peato Mauvaka with a flat pass before scoring a second with a delightful chip kick and Ramos’ conversion made it 22-3.

Bordeaux Begles in their maiden Top 14 Final, coached by former Toulouse hooker Yannick Bru, were struggling with flanks Jack Willis and Francois Cros in superb form in defence for the champions.

Ramos extended the lead to 25-3 four minutes after the interval with a second penalty as Toulouse played up to their pre-match favourites tag.

With 25 minutes to go a tired-looking pair of Jalibert and Tameifuna had been replaced with Toulouse’s red and black clad fans sensing another Bouclier de Brennus title, first awarded in 1892.

Victory was confirmed with a quarter of an hour left as Ramos dived over, his try coming from a Dupont break.

A cruising Toulouse added a fifth and sixth try as hooker Julien Marchand and wing Blair Kinghorn crossed with ease before the loudest cheer of the game came as Dupont was replaced with 10 minutes to play.

Kinghorn’s try took Toulouse to 40 points and the record score in a Top 14 final.

Toulouse rubbed salt into Bordeaux Begles’ wounds in the closing five minutes as Ramos added a second try, prop David Ainu’u and fullback Ange Capuozzo crashed over to cross the half-century.

The scorers:

For Stade Toulousain:
Tries: Dupont 2, Mauvaka, Ramos 2, Marchand, Kinghorn, Ainu’u, Capuozzo
Cons: Ramos 2, Kinghorn, Ntamack
Pens: Ramos 2

For Union Bordeaux Bègles
Pen: Lucu

Yellow card: Tevita Tatafu (Union Bordeaux Bègles, 5)

Teams:

Stade Toulousain: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Juan Cruz Mallia, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Alexandre Roumat, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacement: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Joshua Brennan, 19 Piula Fa’asalele, 20 Paul Graou, 21 Matthis Lebel, 22 Paul Costes, 23 David Ainu’u.

Union Bordeaux Bègles: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Nicolas Depoortere, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10 Mateo Garcia, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Tevita Tatafu, 7 Pierre Bochaton, 6 Bastien Vergnes Taillefer, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Cyril Cazeaux, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Maxime Lamothe, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Romain Latterrade, 17 Ugo Boniface, 18 Guido Petti 19 Mahamadou Diaby 20 Pete Samu 21 Yann Lesgourgues 22 Pablo Uberti 23 Lekso Kaulashvili

Referee: Ludovic Cayre
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas, Adrien Marbot
TMO: Eric Gauzins

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