Siya Kolisi injured as Toulouse cruise past Racing 92 to book final Champions Cup quarter-final spot

David Skippers
Pita Ahki Toulouse Champions Cup 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Toulouse centre Pita Ahki.

Toulouse booked the last spot in the Investec Champions Cup quarter-finals when they secured a 31-7 victory against Racing 92 in Sunday’s clash at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

Les Rouge et Noir were full value for their win as they outscored their visitors by five tries to one with Peato Mauvaka, Matthis Lebel, Paul Costes, Pita Ahki and Alexandre Roumat crossing the whitewash for the hosts whose other points came via the boot of Blair Kinghorn, who slotted three conversions.

For Racing 92, Eddy Ben Arous scored a consolation try which was converted by Tristan Tedder.

It was a bad day at the office for the Parisian outfit who also lost the services of star flanker Siya Kolisi, who hobbled off the field with a knee injury early in the opening half.

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The opening half was evenly contested but the home side had the better of the early exchanges and opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute when Mauvaka crossed for his try after the Toulouse pack had powered their way over the line from a driving maul.

In the 20th minute, Racing were dealt a setback when Kolisi was forced off the field shortly after he carried purposefully before being stopped close to Toulouse’s try-line.

The rest of the half was a tight tussle as both sides battled to gain the ascendancy but the match came alive in the 34th minute when Lebel rounded off an excellent team try. This, after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the build up and Toulouse started the attack midway between their 22 and the halfway line.

Just like the first try, Kinghorn was off target with his conversion attempt which meant the teams changed sides at half-time with Toulouse holding a 10-0 lead.

Racing needed a response if they wanted anything from this game and they upped the ante on attack during the early stages of the second half.

However, they had little to show for their efforts as their play was littered with errors. Early in second half, Cameron Woki glided through a gap in the Racing defence midway between the halfway line and Toulouse’s 22 but although there was no pressure from the home side’s defence, he knocked the ball on while carrying it in one hand instead of two.

Soon after that, the visitors tried to launch an attack from a lineout on the halfway line but this time Tedder knocked on when he took his eyes off the ball while gathering a routine pass from Clovis le Bail.

In the 53rd minute, Les Rouge et Noir had a chance to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty and Kinghorn lined up a shot at goal but his effort was off target.

That miss did not prove costly, however, as Costes crossed for his try three minutes later when he ran a superb line after gathering a pass from Antoine Dupont and crashed over.

And in the 70th minute the home side hammered home their dominance when Ahki was rewarded with his five-pointer after several passes from his team-mates in the build-up.

The closing stages were frantic as both sides showed plenty of attacking intent and Racing were eventually rewarded when Arous went over for his five-pointer but Toulouse would have the last laugh as Roumat crossed for their fifth try which sealed an emphatic win and their Champions Cup quarter-final berth in the game’s dying moments.

The teams

Toulouse: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Juan Cruz Mallia, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (c), 8 Alexandre Roumat, 7 François Cros, 6 Jack Willis, 5 Emmanuel Meafou, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Joel Merkler, 19 Thibaud Flament, 20 Joshua Brennan, 21 Mathis Castro-Ferreira, 22 Paul Graou, 23 Paul Costes

Racing: 15 Max Spring, 14 Henry Arundell, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Henry Chavancy (c), 11 Wame Naituvi, 10 Tristan Tedder, 9 Clovis le Bail, 8 Jordan Joseph, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Cameron Woki, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Peniami Narisia 1 Hassane Kolingar
Replacements: 16 Eddy Ben Arous, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Thomas Laclayat, 19 Fabien Sanconnie, 20 Ibrahim Diallo, 21 Martin Meliande, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Christian Wade

Referee: Karl Dickson (ENG)
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace (ENG), Andrew Jackson (ENG)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (ENG)

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