Planet Rugby

Toulouse cruise back into form

22nd August 2014 21:24

Share:

Imanol Harinordoquy Toulouse v Castres 2014

Looking good: Harinordoquy made a big impact for Toulouse

Under-pressure Toulouse turned it on to comfortably see off Castres 35-6 at Ernest Wallon and move top of the Top 14.

After a scrappy success against Oyonnax last week, Toulouse were much improved, both in the set-piece and in general play, running in four tries to pick up a bonus-point win.

Gael Fickou, looking back to his best, Jean-Marc Doussain, Maxime Medard and Sebastien Bezy all crossed, and despite the second-half sending off of youngster Thomas Ramos, it was a comfortable win for Guy Novès' side.

Early on Toulouse got the edge in the first scrum, earning a penalty, and having kicked into Castres territory, they got a shot at three points due to an offside, Toby Flood making no mistake.

Castres responded with a Rory Kockott penalty after Medard failed to roll away to level things.

The response was immediate from Toulouse, with Imanol Harinordoquy producing a powerful tackle on Yannick Caballero which forced the visitors to come in from the side to secure the ball. However Flood's penalty was pulled wide.

And it was a similar story a couple of minutes later as a second shot at goal drifted left. Kockott wasn't having an easy time of it either, missing a second long-range penalty of the evening.

With Flood struggling from the kicking tee, Toulouse needed to find some points from elsewhere, and it came from a moment of magic from Fickou.

The young centre brushed off a tackle from Max Evans to make an initial break, feeding Yoann Huget outside him, before getting the ball back from his international teammate to go under the posts. This time Flood made no mistake to make the score 10-3.

Castres came straight back, initially struggling to break through but eventually earning three points after a high tackle from Harinordoquy, Kockott splitting the uprights.

The game was going back and forth, and Toulouse could have extended their lead when they earned a scrum five metres from the Castres line after the visitors failed to claim the restart.

However Gilian Galan's charge from the back of the scrum was stopped, and a knock-on at the next ruck ended the attack.

Toulouse thought they had scored five minutes from time when a great move off the back of a lineout saw Clement Poitrenaud kick through and Huget dot down, but the action was called back for a debatable knock-on by the Toulouse full-back.

The home side arguably deserved to be further ahead, having looked much the more threatening, and on the stroke of half-time they earned a straightforward penalty which Flood converted to make it 13-6 at the break.

It was the home side who made the quicker start to the second half, showing ambition to score a second try of the night, through Doussain.

A great turn-over from Harinordoquy got them the ball back just inside their own half, and Florian Fritz's clever kick allowed Medard to force Geoffrey Palis into touch. The lineout was taken quickly and Doussain was on hand to race over after quick hands from Medard and Fickou.

The momentum was clearly on the side of Toulouse, and they showed their clinical side with a third try two minutes later.

After piling on the pressure in the Castres 22, Doussain spotted Medard free on the left wing and produced a delightful cross-kick which dropped into his winger's hands. Flood missed the wide conversion but Toulouse led 25-6 with half an hour remaining.

It was a much improved display from Novès' side and they were also having the better of the scrum battle, with another penalty in Castres territory allowing Flood to extend the lead with three more points.

Castres tried to fight back, and put the pressure on the home side, but too often the final pass went to ground.

They were then given a boost with 15 minutes remaining however as young full-back Ramos was sent off for Toulouse after kicking out at Mihaita Lazar, who was given a yellow card for holding the youngster in a ruck.

Castres thought they had finally scored their first try of the evening shortly after when Johnnie Beattie cruised over from the back of a scrum, but after consultation with the TMO it became clear that the gap had opened up because Ibrahim Diarra was holding Gregory Lamboley in the scrum.

And it was the visitors who found themselves a man down a few minutes later when Kockott was sin-binned after a series of infringements deep in the Castres 22 as Fickou again wreaked havoc.

With Kockott off, Toulouse took full advantage, through replacement Bezy. The youngster spotted a gap in the close ruck defence to dart over for the fourth try with four minutes remaining.

The scorers:

For Toulouse:
Tries: Fickou, Doussain, Medard, Bezy
Cons: Flood 3
Pens: Flood 3
Red card: Ramos

For Castres:
Pens: Kockott 2
Yellow cards: Lazar, Kockott

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Gillian Galan, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Kisi Pulu, 18 Iosefa Tekori, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Sebastien Bezy, 21 Yann David, 22 Thomas Ramos, 23 Neemia Tialata.

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Max Evans, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 Romain Martial, 10 Remi Tales (c), 9 Rory Kockott, 8 John Beattie, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Christophe Samson, 4 Piula Faaselele, 3 Paea Fa'anunu, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Victor Moreaux, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Cedric Garcia, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Julien Dumora, 23 Yohan Montes.

Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini, Jacques De Lemos

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
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
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
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada 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
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821