Planet Rugby

Skrela leads Toulouse into Final

01st May 2010 15:10

Share:

David Skrela scores Toulouse Leinster

Flying high: David Skrela

Fly-half David Skrela scored 21 points as Toulouse booked a place in the Heineken Cup Final with a 26-16 win over Leinster on Saturday.

Dominant in the set pieces, especially at scrum time, Toulouse outscored their visitors two tries to one as Yannick Jauzion and Skrela both touched down.

Jamie Heaslip's try for Leinster was not enough for the defending champions, who fought back, but fell short.

Toulouse will meet either Biarritz or Munster in the Final at the Stade de France in Paris on May 22.

The champions were defiant until the end but paid the price for leaking two tries to Jauzion and Skrela in the space of four minutes heading into the final quarter.

Man-of-the-match Skrela had the greatest impact on the scoreboard with a sixteen-point kicking haul topped by his superb try, but Toulouse's scrum also did major damage.

Leinster suffered terribly at the set-piece and continued to struggle upon the arrival of South African CJ van der Linde after half an hour.

Van der Linde had replaced Cian Healy - the Ireland prop obviously culpable for the problems in the eyes of coach Michael Cheika - but Toulouse still dominated.

The tournament favourites and three-time winners had the perfect platform to attack while Leinster, whose line-out functioned well, often had to feed off scraps.

Jamie Heaslip's 65th-minute try gave the 4,000 travelling fans brief hope of a revival but that was soon extinguished when Skrela hit a fourth penalty to put Toulouse back in command.

Leinster travelled to France without their Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton but Shaun Berne proved a capable deputy, finishing with 11 points in a flawless display with the boot.

Berne was subjected to a physical introduction when Cedric Heymans clattered him into touch amid a thunderous opening from Toulouse that ended with a Skrela penalty.

Using a pair of high kicks from Isa Nacewa and Berne and clever hands from Brian O'Driscoll, Leinster rallied and began asking questions of the home defence.

Centre Florian Fritz replied with a bone-jarring hit on Rob Kearney and then Leinster were driven back 10 metres at a scrum, just moments after their line had been pounded by the Irish.

Skrela kicked a second penalty but Leinster won the tactical jockeying that followed and almost crossed in the 23rd minute when Eoin Reddan jinked his way to the whitewash.

All that was left was to dot the ball down but a double tackle from Byron Kelleher and Vincent Clerc saw the ball slip agonisingly from his fingertips.

Leinster were more creative in attack but were being pulverised at the scrum, hurtling backwards once again to enable Skrela to extend the lead.

The flow of points was stemmed when Berne settled his nerves with a penalty and, after Leinster had scrapped like dogs over a succession of loose balls, he nailed a second on the stroke of half-time.

Maxime Medard had a try ruled out by the television match official three minutes after the interval - his legs were out when he touched down - and it was the visitors who struck next with Berne on target once again

Leinster were attacking the gain line with intent but their scrum disintegrated, though this time Skrela missed the penalty.

Horgan executed a try-saving tackled on Heymans as Toulouse moved through the gears, but the French aristocrats did power over moments later.

Stationed on the Leinster line, their forwards probed until the ball was released to Jauzion who rode tackles from Leo Cullen and Berne to crash over.

Skrela converted and then improved his own try after crossing in 60th minute having spotted a gap between O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy and fired up the afterburners to gallop in under the posts.

Far from caving in, Leinster responded with a magnificent try five minutes later through Heaslip.

Reddan's slashing run was halted inches short of the line but Toulouse were stretched with Nacewa's miss pass to Heaslip enabling the number eight to slide in at the corner with Berne converting.

The fightback was brief, however, as Skrela slotted a fourth penalty to send Toulouse into the final at the Stade de France.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries:
Jauzion, Skrela
Cons: Skrela 2
Pens: Skrela 4

For Leinster:
Try:
Heaslip
Con: Berne
Pens: Berne 3

Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Cédric Heymans, 10 David Skrela, 9 Byron Kelleher, 8 Shaun Sowerby, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Benoit Lecouls, 2 William Servat, 1 Daan Human.
Replacements:16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Louis Picamoles , 21 Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, 22 Yann David , 23 Maxime Medard.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Shaun Berne, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Stan Wright, 2 John Fogarty, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bernard Jackman, 17 CJ Van Der Linde, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Malcolm O'Kelly, 20 Stephen Keogh, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Eoin O'Malley, 23 Girvan Dempsey.

Referee: Nigel Owens

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
Friday , December 5
Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821