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
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615