Planet Rugby

Toulouse rampant at Rodney Parade

16th October 2010 19:41

Share:

Vilimoni Delasau Toulouse v Gwent Dragons

Simple enough: Toulouse win

Toulouse showed their Heineken Cup know-how on Saturday by brushing aside the Dragons 42-19 at Rodney Parade.

It was only the French giants' eighth win from fifteen European starts on Welsh soil, and they were indebted to a kicking masterclass from fly-half David Skrela.

Skrela booted 21 points from four penalties, a drop-goal and three conversions, although he was also sin-binned during a lively encounter.

Centre Florian Fritz chipped in with two penalties when Skrela was off, while flanker Thierry Dusautoir, number eight Louis Picamoles and full-back Maxime Medard - the latter a clinically-executed team effort - scored tries.

The Dragons - favourites to finish bottom of Pool Six - mustered four Matthew Jones penalties, trailing only 15-12 just before half-time, while full-back Will Harries touched down late on and Jones converted.

But Toulouse won comfortably despite never threatening to hit top gear. In two Heineken games this season they have scored just three tries, yet still top their group heading into pre-Christmas home and away appointments with Glasgow.

The injury-hit Dragons, beaten by Glasgow in their pool opener, faced a Herculean task against a Toulouse side packed with international stars.

The reigning European champions made eight changes following last weekend's narrow victory over Wasps, while the likes of Clement Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc and Byron Kelleher were on bench duty.

Dragons coach Paul Turner had billed the game as Preston versus Real Madrid, but his side made a bright start through a Jones penalty inside 60 seconds.

Jones' opposite number Skrela replied with a drop-goal before an exchange of penalties, but approaching the end of a breathless - if patternless - opening quarter, Toulouse had been kept in check.

The boot continued to dominate, with two further Skrela penalties either side of Jones completing his hat-trick edging Toulouse 12-9 ahead, but there were ominous signs up-front, where the visiting pack began to exert scrum pressure,

Another Skrela penalty put Toulouse six points clear, yet it was his final scoring contribution of the half as referee Andrew Small sin-binned him for holding back Dragons scrum-half Wayne Evans off the ball.

Jones kicked the resulting penalty, but the Dragons' temporary one-man advantage was immediately cancelled out when home prop Ben Castle received a yellow card for offside.

With Skrela absent, Fritz took over the kicking duties, and another three-pointer gave Toulouse a deserved - if unspectacular - 18-12 interval advantage.

Toulouse came out firing for the second period, and after a second Fritz penalty, they powered over for their first try in this season's Heineken Cup.

Their back-row peeled off a line-out deep inside the Dragons' 22, and Small required confirmation from the video official before awarding Dusautoir the touchdown.

Skrela marked his return to the contest by booting an easy conversion, and a brave Dragons challenge appeared over, 16 points adrift with more than 30 minutes remaining.

Medard then sliced the Dragons' defence to shreds, Skrela adding the extras, and it had become a damage-limitation exercise for the hosts.

But they never threw in the towel, and Harries' sharp score following a quickly-taken penalty by hooker Steve Jones underlined a committed - if limited - display.

Typically, Toulouse had the final say when an impressive Picamoles powered his way over, and the only disappointment for the visitors was their failure to collect a fourth touchdown that would have given them a five-point maximum.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Try: Harries
Con: Jones
Pens: Jones 4

For Toulouse:
Tries: Dusautoir, Medard, Picamoles
Cons: Skrela 3
Pens: Skrela 4, Fritz 2
Drop: Skrela

Yellow card: Skrela (Toulouse - 33rd min); Castle (Dragons - 36th min)

Dragons: 15 Will Harries, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Tom Riley, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Andrew Coombs, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Pat Palmer, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Tobey Faletau, 21 Nicky Griffiths, 22 Matthew Jones, 23 Rhodri Gomer-Davies.

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

Referee: Andrew Small (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615