Toulouse got their Heineken Cup Pool campaign off to the perfect start on Friday, defeating Zebre 38-5 with a try bonus-point.
Toulouse got their Heineken Cup Pool campaign off to the perfect start on Friday, defeating Zebre 38-5 with a try bonus-point at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Toulouse produced a powerhouse first-half performance to ease to victory in their first Heineken Cup outing of the new season.
The French outfit had failed to qualify past the group stages in last year's competition, but they showed a ruthlessness on home soil suggesting they'd be a force to be reckoned with this time around.
Zebre, meanwhile, were unable to reverse the poor form shown so far in the Pro12, and could again be set for another tough European campaign.
Three tries in nine minutes laid an early platform for Toulouse. They got their first on 12 minutes through Yohann Huget, with Sebastien Bezy converting, and the score was quickly followed by unconverted efforts from Gregory Lamboley and Huget's second.
Six minutes before half-time, the French hosts underlines their superiority with a fourth try of the first half, scored by Maxime Medard following strong work from the forwards.
Bezy converted to make it 24-0 at half-time, and when Medard crossed for his second, and Toulouse's fifth, early in the second half, Zebre were left with a mountain to climb.
They did get off the mark through Dion Berryman's unconverted effort shortly after their latest concession, but that would be as good as it got for the Italian side.
Though they rallied in the remaining stages of the match, and prevented their hosts from stretching their lead, they were unable to battle their way back into the contest.
Toulouse will take heart from this victory, while Zebre must find improvement if they are to make a mark this season.
Tries: Huget 2, Lamboley, Medard 2, Nyanga
Con: Bezy 3, Barraque
Stade Toulousain: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Sebastien Bezy, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Yannick Nyanga (c), 6 Gregory Lamboley, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Patricio Albacete, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Hosea Gear, 23 Thierry Dusautoir.
Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Tommaso Iannone, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Dries van Schalkwyk, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (capt), 4 Mike Van Vuren, 3 Carlo Fazzari, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Roberto Quartaroli.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)