Toulouse sent a warning shot to the rest of the Top 14 on Friday after claiming an impressive 35-6 bonus-point win away to rivals Bayonne.
Toulouse sent a warning shot to the rest of their Top 14 challengers on Friday after claiming a clinical 35-6 bonus-point win away to Bayonne.
In a one-sided clash, Guy Noves' men proved to be a class above their struggling rivals as Luke McAlister pulled the strings from number 10.
The All Black was involved in most of Toulouse's good work and played a big role in wing Timoci Matanavou going over on seventeen minutes. He deliberately sliced a kick cross-field to his wing, who finished well for a score that made it 14-6 to the visitors after Bayonne fly-half Benjamin Boyet and the former Blues man had traded penalties.
14-6 was how it stayed until half-time but a yellow card for Census Johnston and David Roumieu did create greater space for possible scores.
Toulouse came out firing in the second stanza and a fine individual try from flanker Yannick Nyanga set them on their way. His try – after a clever offload from Vincent Clerc – saw the back-row forward outpace two backs for the line.
McAlister missed the conversion but one could see the momentum was firmly with the French heavyweights, who crossed twice more in the closing stages as replacement Jean Bouilhou and McAlister went over. It was fitting the All Black had the final say from the tee.
Victory takes Toulouse second, two points behind Toulon who host Castres on Saturday.
Pen: Boyet 2
Tries: Matanavou, Nyanga, Bouilhou, McAlister
Con: McAlister 3
Pen: McAlister 3
Bayonne: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 12 Lionel Mazars, 11 Cedric Heymans, 10 Benjamin Boyet, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Julien Puricelli, 7 Dwayne Haare, 6 Mark Chisholm, 5 Abdellatif Boutaty, 4 Dewald Senekal, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Aretz Iguiniz.
Replacements: 16 Gregory Arganese, 17 Vitolio Manukula, 18 Marc Baget, 19 Guillaume Bernad, 20 Cedric Garcia, 21 Marvin O'Connor, 22 Sam Gerber, 23 Renaud Boyoud.
Toulouse: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Luke Mcalister, 9 Jean Marc Doussain, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Romain Millo-Chlusky, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Jean-Batiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Gregory Lamboley, 19 Jean Bouilhou, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Jean Bernard Pujol, 23 Yohan Montes.
Referee: Christophe Berdos