Toulouse managed to escape one of the biggest shocks in Heineken Cup history as they overcame Treviso 33-21 on Saturday.
Toulouse managed to escape one of the biggest shocks in Heineken Cup history as they recovered to defeat Treviso 33-21 in Italy on Saturday.
The Italians responded to the energy of the crowd early on at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo, playing with passion and enthusiasm and even having the edge over Toulouse in the scrum.
The Frenchmen were guilty of ill-discipline too, conceding a number of penalties at the breakdown as well as the set-piece, and Treviso fly-half Kristopher Burton was having a particularly successful day with the boot and kicked six from six in the first half.
The hosts did have to hold on in defence at times when Toulouse attempted to play a more expansive game but they defended manfully and Luke McAlister could only manage half the number of penalties as his opposite number to leave the score 18-9 at the break.
McAlister and Burton exchanged penalties again early in the second half and, when Vincent Clerc was sent to the sin-bin shortly afterwards, the visitors would have been fearing the worst.
But Robert Barbieri followed him into the bin five minutes later and Toulouse took advantage of his absence by scoring a penalty try after their scrum was rumbling inexorably towards the line.
The Treviso defence was starting to tire and Louis Picamoles found a gaping hole in it moments later and surged forwards before brushing off several tackles and powering his way over to give his side the lead.
The Italians were unable to deal with the strength of their opponents as the game wore on and, after the forwards continued to dominate, McAlister chipped the ball over the top for Clerc to touch down under the posts.
Toulouse were unable to get the fourth try and the bonus-point in the final quarter of an hour though and there was a slightly sour ending to the match as Christopher Tolofua was sent off after getting his second yellow card of the game for tipping Fabio Semenzato on his head.
Pen: Burton 7
Tries: Penalty, Picamoles, Clerc
Con: McAlister 3
Pen: McAlister 4
Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Kris Burton, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Andrea Pratichetti.
Toulouse: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Jean Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo Chlusky, 3 Yohan MontÃ¨s, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Jean Batiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Yannick Jauzion, 23 Clement Poitrenaud.
Referee: Leighton Hodges