Planet Rugby

Gloucester shock Toulouse

20th January 2012 19:33


Jonny May Gloucester toulouse 2012 hec

Two-try hero: Jonny May

Gloucester created a massive shock on Friday by beating Toulouse 34-24 in a thrilling Heineken Cup encounter at Kingsholm.

A late try from full-back Jonny May - his second of the game - saw the home side snatch an unexpected win against a star-studded but under-performing Toulouse team, who still qualify for the quarter-finals thanks to Connacht's upset win over Harlequins in Friday's other Pool Six clash.

The four-time champions mixed the sublime with the mediocre as they scored three tries but struggled to contain a free-flowing Gloucester side playing without pressure or inhibitions.

Toulouse led 17-14 at the end of an entertaining first half that saw the protagonists score two tries each.

But Gloucester moved in front shortly after the restart with their third touchdown only to see Toulouse draw level with fifteen minutes to play and set up a grandstand finish.

There was more drama to come as man-of-the-match May used his pace to secure victory for the Cherry and Whites in the 75th minute.

An eventful opening few minutes saw Gloucester go a man down but nevertheless take the lead.

Prop Nick Wood saw yellow for some overzealous foot work at the first ruck but the hosts were handed a seven-point headstart when Toulouse wing Timoci Matanavou had a total brain fade and tried to kick for touch when surrounded by three Gloucester players behind his own tryline. His attempted clearance was charged down and May pounced for the opening score.

The French champions didn't take long to reply however and when Thierry Dusautoir burst clear from a ruck he found no one in front of him and could sprint 35 metres to score.

Lionel Beauxis added the conversion and a penalty to put the visitors in front before Matanavou made up for his earlier gaff to score in the corner, leaving Toulouse 17-7 up.

But Gloucester bounced back when Charlie Sharples broke clear down the right-hand touchline to set up a try for flank Akapusi Qera in the opposite corner.

Freddie Burns's second conversion of the night narrowed the gap to three points in the 22nd minute and that's how the scores remained until half-time as Beauxis hit the post just before the break.

Gloucester started the second half in the best possible fashion and moved back in front when Sharples scored following a quick-tap from Burns, a neat chip ahead from Mike Tindall and a collection from May to put his wing man in for the score.

Burns added the extras - with a little help from the TMO, who overruled the touch judges - to put the hosts 21-17 ahead. And the home fly-half could extend the lead to seven points when Toulouse lock Patricio Albacete was blown up for being offside.

Toulouse looked rattled and gave away a series of penalties at scrum time before a wonderful break from Beauxis and excellent support from Dusautoir set up another try out wide for Matanavou.

But the last laugh would go to the hosts as Burns added another penalty and May provided the knock-out blow with his breakaway try after great work down the left touchline from James Simpson-Daniel.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: May 2, Qera, Sharples
Cons: Burns 4
Pens: Burns 2

For Toulouse:
Tries: Dusautoir, Matanavou 2
Cons: Beauxis 3
Pens: Beauxis

Yellow cards: Wood (Gloucester - 1st min - reckless use of boot)

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Luke Narraway (c), 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Alasdair Stroskoch, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Henry Trinder

Stade Toulousain: 15 Clément Poitrenaud , 14 Timoci Matanavou, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles , 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 William Servat, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Dan Human, 19 Grégory Lamboley, 20 Jean Bouilhou 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Yves Donguy, 23 Shaun Sowerby,

Venue: Kingsholm, Gloucester
Referee: George ClancyConnacht win to leave Quins stranded

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