Masilevu magic stuns Toulouse

Date published: September 6 2014

A sublime piece of skill from Fijian Benito Masilevu allowed Brive to escape with a 26-19 win over Toulouse.

A sublime piece of skill from Fijian Benito Masilevu allowed Brive to escape with a 26-19 win over Toulouse.

The former Sevens star stunned the visitors with seven minutes remaining after they had fought back from a ten-point deficit to draw level.

The score was not without controversy, as Brive had knocked the ball on in the Toulouse 22, with Toby Flood then clearing under pressure.

The referee deemed advantage over, much to the fury of the Toulouse coaching staff, and Masilevu collected the ball before producing an incredible sidestep to sprint away down the left and score. Gaetan Germain's conversion gave Brive a seven-point lead which they would not relinquish.

Toulouse made the better start, and earned an early shot at goal when Sisa Koyamaibole was penalised for pulling down a maul in the Brive 22.

Flood made no mistake to give the visitors the lead, unlike Germain who missed his first penalty attempt from long-range when Flood had been penalised going off his feet.

But Brive didn't have to wait long for their first score, with Arnaud Mignardi grabbing the game's first try.

The Toulouse scrum was put under pressure deep in their own 22, and when the ball popped out Jean-Baptiste Pejoine was first to react.

The Toulouse defence managed to stop him, but when Brive got quick ball, they were able to spread it to Mignardi, and the centre had enough space to crash over. Germain converted to make it 7-3.

With a set-piece that was very much second-best, Toulouse were struggling to hold on to the ball, and Germain added a penalty when Brive got the upper hand in another scrum.

But Toulouse reacted with a big scrum of their own immediately after to earn a penalty, and hooker Guillaume Ribes was lucky to avoid a sin-binning for a blatant stamp on the foot of Corey Flynn in front of Romain Poite.

It cost him just ten metres, as Flood knocked over a second penalty of the afternoon to make it 10-6 to Brive.

However Flood was soon leaving his partners, sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes when an attempted tackle on Elia Radikedike went wrong, with the Fijian tipped on to his side. Germain slotted the simple penalty to stretch the lead back to seven.

And he was on target once more just before half-time when Toulouse brought down a rampaging Brive maul to give the home side a 16-6 lead at the break.

With Toulouse still down to 14, Brive had the chance to extend their lead early in the second half when Yann David was harshly penalised for an early tackle, but Germain's effort was pulled wide.

Neither side was able to sustain multiple phases of play, but Brive had their scrum to make up for it, earning another three points from a messy affair in the Toulouse 22 with 54 minutes on the board.

Toulouse reacted immediately, earning a penalty from the restart, which Flood slotted to make it 19-9.

And just after the hour Brive showed some defensive grit to keep Toulouse at bay when a try looked on the cards. In the end they conceded just a penalty, with Flood bringing his team back to within a score.

They got that score immediately after with a stunning score from Edwin Maka. A move which went from left to right, started with a break from Yoann Huget before coming back across the pitch.

Patricio Albacete collected the ball from Maka, before slipping it back to the giant Tongan who stretched over for the try. Flood continued his flawless performance from the kicking tee to level the scores at 19-19 with quarter of an hour remaining.

The visitors were in the ascendancy but some incredible skill from Masilevu gave Brive back the lead and they held on for a vital win.

The scorers:

For Brive:
Tries: Mignardi, Masilevu
Conversions: Germain 2
Penalties: Germain 4

For Toulouse:
Try: Maka
Conversion: Flood
Penalties: Flood 4
Yellow card: Flood

Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Guillaume Namy, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Andrew Ma'ilei, 11 Elia Radikedike, 10 Thomas Laranjeira, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Petrus Hauman, 5 Arnaud Mela (c), 4 Peet Marais, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Goderdzi Shvelidze.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Acquier, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 19 Said Hireche, 20 Benjamin Neveu, 21 Riaan Swanepoel, 22 Benito Masilevu, 23 Damien Jourdain.

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Yann David, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Kisi Pulu.
Replacements: 16 Rodrigue Neti, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Christopher Tolofua, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Gregory Lamboley, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Edwin Maka, 23 Alexis Palisson.

Referee: Romain Poite