Planet Rugby

Toulouse conquer the Stoop

09th December 2011 19:35

Share:

Toulouse s fly half Luke McAlister v Harlequins

Eleven points: Luke McAlister

Harlequins' fourteen-game winning streak came to a grinding halt on Friday as they succumbed 21-10 at home to Toulouse in the Heineken Cup.

The four-time European champions led from start to finish, outscoring their hosts two tries to one in an impressive display to take control of Pool Six.

Fijian wing Timoci Matanavou touched down on either side of half time for the visitors while full-back Mike Brown scored for Quins' early in the second period.

Toulouse led 11-3 at the break and while Brown's score briefly narrowed the gap to a single point, the French visitors never realistically looked like losing.

Indeed, les Toulousains were consistently a step ahead of Quins, who didn't seem to have an answer to the French club's outstanding defence and efficiency at the breakdown.

Harlequins got an insight into the size of the task ahead of them in the first minute when their young winger Sam Smith was driven and unceremoniously dumped into touch by his opposite number Matanavou.

After Luke McAlister and Nick Evans exchanged penalties, Matanavou then showed his attacking prowess by touching down in the corner.

He applied the finish after French international forwards Louis Picamoles and Thierry Dusautoir had expertly created the space for him.

Toulouse dominated the remainder of the first half and Quins struggled to deal with their power and expertise at the breakdown but the French club only managed to add three more points and the game was still finely poised at 11-3 at the break.

The home team came out re-energised and fired up for the second period and after some good possession, they made the breakthrough.

After a great initial break from deep inside his own half by centre Matt Hopper, the Premiership leaders were awarded a kickable penalty.

Danny Care opted for the quick tap though and it paid off after Brown picked a great line and crashed over to make it 11-10 following the successful conversion.

McAlister took the heat out of Harlequins' resurgence with three points soon afterwards and the French Top 14 leaders began to establish their strength, experience and quality once more Quins fought valiantly but the comeback always looked beyond them after the 66th minute, when Matanavou crossed for his second try of the night following a superb, scything break from Vincent Clerc.

The home side never gave up and did have a few chances to claim a losing bonus point but a win over the 2010 champions proved a step too far for them as Toulouse demonstrated their credentials and laid down a marker for every other side in this year's competition.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Try: Brown
Con: Evans
Pen: Evans

For Toulouse:
Tries: Matanavou 2
Cons: McAlister
Pens: McAlister 3

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 James Johnston, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ugo Monye.

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Timoci Matanavou, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Grégory Lamboley, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Yohan Montes, 18 Johnson Falefa, 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Jean-Marc Doussain, 21 Yves Donguy, 22 Yann David , 23 Shaun Sowerby.

Venue: The Stoop
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Ken Beggs (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38