Planet Rugby

Toulouse snatch late draw in Paris

22nd March 2014 15:50

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Toulouse flanker Akapusi Qera L vies for the ball with Stade Francais Julien Dupuy

Tight tussle: Akapusi Qera v Julien Dupuy

A last-minute try saw Toulouse claim a crucial 27-all draw against Top 14 rivals Stade Français at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Having trailed 27-5 after half an hour, the visitors launched an incredible comeback, finished by a Yohan Montes try and a Jean-Marc Doussain conversion in the 80th minute.

Stade Français looked to have the upper hand, having led 27-8 at half-time, but Toulouse came storming back in the second period, eventually outscoring their hosts - in front of a 63,000-strong crowd - by four tries to three.

Stade's Julien Dupuy opened the scoring with a long-range penalty after Luke McAlister had missed an earlier effort for Toulouse.

The feisty scrum-half then sliced between McAlister and Patricio Albacete for a gift of a try he also converted.

But Toulouse came firing straight back, centre Gael Fickou pouncing on a loose kick-off and driving forward, McAlister taking Pascal Papé with him as he crossed the line from the resulting ruck.

It ended badly for the former All Black playmaker - just back after four months out - who injured his back in the process and staggered off after 13 minutes.

With Dupuy at the heart of Stade's driving game, the former international again split the defence and a smart offload saw half-back partner Jules Plisson over for the Paris team's second try.

Dupuy was again on the mark with a penalty to push Stade's lead to 20-5, soon extended by seven points when lock Alexandre Flanquart crossed after a break by ex-Springbok centre Meyer Bosman and a good offload by Papé.

Replacement Jean-Marc Doussain pulled back a penalty for Toulouse, who started the second-half with a neatly-taken try by South African scrum-half Jano Vermaak after a storming break from Fiji flanker Akapusi Qera.

Toulouse replacement Joe Tekori made an instant difference after then taking the pitch, the towering Samoan setting up the drive and penalty from which he crashed over for a converted try that dragged his team back to within seven points.

In a nail-biting climax, Stade's Benjamin Macome was sin-binned for a ruck infringement with 15 minutes left, and for all that Toulouse pushed, they could not break through a resolute defence.

Fijian wing Waisea Vuidravuwalu produced a last-gasp, try-saving tackle on Toulouse's New Zealander Hosea Gear, but it was not finished as the pressure finally paid off and replacement prop Montes bullocked over, Doussain making no mistake with the extras to save two vital points.

The scorers:

For Stade Français:
Tries: Dupuy, Plisson, Flanquart
Cons: Dupuy 3
Pens: Dupuy 2
Yellow card: Macome

For Toulouse:
Tries: McAlister, Vermaak, Tekori, Montes
Cons: Doussain 2
Pens: Doussain

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Waisea Vuidravuwalu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 David Lyons, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Alexandre Flanquart , 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Remi Bonfils, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Romain Frou, 18 Gerhard Mostert, 19 Benjamin Macome, 20 Jerome Fillol, 21 Morne Steyn , 22 Julien Arias, 23 David Attoub,

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Clement Poitrenaud, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Romain Millo Chlusky, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Joe Tekori, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Florian Fritz, 23 Yohan Montes.

Referee: Patrick Pechambert

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