Toulouse bottom after Oyonnax defeat

Date published: January 16 2016

Toulouse are sitting in last position in Pool 1 of the Champions Cup after they lost to an improving Oyonnax side 32-14 at Stade Charles Mathon on Saturday.

The hosts were magnificent in a first-half as tries from Silvere Tian and Uwe Tawalo saw them take a 17-7 lead into the interval.

However, a Gillian Galan try was reward for Toulouse as they rallied in increasingly snowy conditions.

An early second half-try from Galan offered hope for Toulouse as Oyonnax players looked to avoid a repeat of their collapse against Ulster. 

This was perhaps at the forefront of their minds as they hit back with tries from Fabien Cibray and Eamonn Sheridan to assure the Top 14 strugglers of victory.

In this Pool 1 dead rubber it was little more than pride at stake with both sides already out of the competition. The result means that Oyonnax rise above four times champions Toulouse into third place in the table with one match to play in the competition.

Oyonnax made a blistering start with Tian crossing after 26 seconds to give the home side an early lead. Nicky Robinson converted from the right-hand touchline to give the hosts a seven point lead.

This lead was doubled in the 11th minute as Tawalo latched on to a lovely kick through the Toulouse defence from Robinson to touch down in the left-hand corner. Robinson was on target once more with a magnificent conversion effort to establish a 14-0 lead.

A driving maul touched down by Galan gave Toulouse their first try of the match, David Mele converted to give the visitors hope as the first half drew to a close.

As the half wore on the conditions significantly worsened with snow falling heavily by the end of the first 40 minutes. The weather perhaps played a part as Fabrice Metz committed a high tackle which resulted in a yellow card for the former Racing lock. This was the last action of a first half that finished with Oyonnax leading 17-7.

Galan scored his second try after the break as Toulouse battled back into the match, the number eight crossing after an error from Cibray. Mele converted to close the gap to three points.

Momentum shifted once more in the 48th minute as Cibray atoned for his error, intercepting a pass on the Toulouse 22 before crossing in the corner. Robinson was unable to convert, the Welshman's effort hitting the post to keep the hosts' advantage to eight points with the scores at 22-14.

The Oyonnax victory was secured in the 75th minute, Eamonn Sheridan, scoring his second try in European rugby. Regis Lespinas converted to give the hosts an impressive victory.

The scorers:

For Oyonnax:
Tries: Tian, Tawolo, Cibray, Sheridan
Con: Robinson 2, Lespinas
Pen: Robinson, Lespinas

For Toulouse:
Tries: Galan 2
Con: Mele 2

Oyonnax: 15 Quentin Etienne, 14 Silvere Tian, 13 Vincent Martin, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Uwa Tawalo, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Fabien Cibray, 8 Viliami Maafu, 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Geoffrey Fabbri, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Laurent Delboulbès.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Giorgi Vepkhvadze, 19 Valentin Ursache, 20 Pierrick Gunther, 21 Julien Blanc, 22 Regis Lespinas, 23 Guillaume Bousses.

Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Kunatani Kunabuli, 13 Toby Flood, 12 Paul Perez, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 David Mele, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Gregory Lamboley, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Nemiah Tialata, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Dorian Aldegheri, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Gert Muller, 19 Patricio Albacete, 20 Francois Cros, 21 Christopher Tolofua, 22 Jean-Marc Doussain, 23 Vincent Clerc.

Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Andrew Pearce (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)