Planet Rugby

McAlister kicks Toulouse into final

02nd June 2012 21:35

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Toulouse s fly half Luke McAlister hits a penalty 2012

Killer boot: Luke McAlister

Luke McAlister kicked eighteen points to help Toulouse to a 24-15 win over Castres in a try-less Top 14 semi-final at the Stadium de Toulouse on Saturday.

The result means the defending champions will head to Paris next week hunting their 19th French crown against the winners of Sunday's semi-final between Clermont and Toulon at the same venue.

McAlister's long-range kicking shoes and an extraordinary try-saving tackle from Vincent Clerc proved Castres's undoing in a hard-fought clash.

McAlister landed six penalties, including two from inside his own half, while Lionel Beauxis also kick six points, including an excellent drop to secure victory for the hosts.

Castres came the closest to crossing the whitewash shortly before half time when Max Evans broke clear only to be chased down, tackled and rolled onto his back on the tryline by Clerc. It will surely go down as one of the tackles of the season.

Despite being reduced to 13 men in the closing stages of the first half, Toulouse led 15-12 as the teams headed to the changing rooms.

Castres sharpshooter Pierre Bernard levelled the scores shortly after the restart but the strength of the home pack proved the difference between the sides as they won three more penalties in the final half hour, which former All Black McAlister duly sent over the crossbar.

"I'm really happy, everyone in the dressing room was," said McAlister.

"Tonight, my kicking was good. I haven't had that kind of success with the boot lately."

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Pens: McAlister 6, Beauxis
Drop: Beauxis

For Castres:
Pens: Bernard 3, Teulet
Drop: Bernard

Yellow cards: Fritz (Toulouse - 32nd min - high tackle); Matanavou (Toulouse - 37th min - cynical offside)

Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Thierry Dusautoir, 7 Louis Picamoles, 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Romain Millo-Chluski, 19 Grégory Lamboley, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Yann David, 22 Yannick Jauzion, 23 Yohan Montès.

Castres: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Max Evans, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Yannick Caballero, 7 Matemini Masoe, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Matthias Rolland, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Marc Antoine Tallier, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 19 Jannie Bornman, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Seremaia Baï, 22 Thomas Sanchou, 23 Karena Wihongi.

Referee: Jérôme Garces

  • Top 14 Fixtures
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FixtureDetails
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Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
Saturday , May 3
Toulouse vs Grenoble15:00
Toulon vs Stade Francais15:00
Montpellier vs Racing Metro Paris15:00
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FixtureDetails
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Saturday , April 12
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Friday , April 11
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
Saturday , April 5
Oyonnax 26 - 12 Bordeaux-BeglesOyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
Saturday , March 29
Stade Francais 22 - 32 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Oyonnax 40 - 13 Grenoble
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Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Montpellier2470
2Toulon2469
3Clermont Auvergne2469
4Racing Metro Paris2465
5Toulouse2462