Toulouse player ratings: Antoine Dupont brace and Francois Cros masterclass steers French outfit to Champions Cup final

Jared Wright
Toulouse and France stars Francois Cros and Antoine Dupont during the Investec Champions Cup.

Toulouse and France stars Francois Cros and Antoine Dupont during the Investec Champions Cup.

Following Toulouse’s 38-26 victory over Harlequins in the Investec Champions Cup semi-final, here is how we rated Ugo Mola’s charges.

Toulouse player ratings v Harlequins

15 Blair Kinghorn: Two missed shots at goal but that mattered little in the end. The Scotland international showed why he was selected over Thomas Ramos for this fixture. He was sharp and accurate in all facets of the game and shifted to the wing with little fuss in the second half too. 7

14 Juan Cruz Mallia: Precious few opportunities came his way, but the Argentine did incredibly well to take one of them and get his name on the scoresheet. A solid outing in the end. 6

13 Paul Costes: Another sublime shift from the 21-year-old rising star who punched holes in Quins’ defence, racking up over 80 running metres. Harlequins did manage to find gaps between him and Pita Ahki, but on the whole, he defended well and added another fantastic performance to his repertoire. 8

12 Pita Ahki: Along with Romain Ntamack, he was guilty of making a rather poor tackle attempt on Marcus Smith but that was one of the very few blights on his performance. He made some superb chop tackles and linked up brilliantly with Ntamack to create opportunities for the likes of Costes. 7

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11 Matthis Lebel: Crossed for a try after a wonderful pass from Ntamack but was suspect defensively and replaced by Ramos after 55 minutes. 4

10 Romain Ntamack: Barely attempted a tackle as Smith breezed past him to score, and while he did have his frailties on defence, he impressed on attack, throwing a brilliant 30-odd metre skip pass for Lebel to score. He kicked well out of hand, too, and ran the attack well, making good decisions. 7

9 Antoine Dupont: A brace for the captain, who was up to his usual tricks as he steered his side to another Champions Cup final. He stamped his mark on the semi-final in every facet of the game, kicking well and keeping the Quins defence on its toes all game. Toulouse really are a different beast with their two Les Bleus superstars in the starting XV. 8

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Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

Planet Rugby’s player ratings key.

Loose forwards

8 Alexandre Roumat: A solid game from the number eight who was effective in the lineout, made his tackles and carried well enough. A few missed tackles and a pair of bad passes impacts his rating. 6

7 Jack Willis: Continues to thrive in Toulouse with a blockbuster breakdown performance despite Quins’ concerted efforts to nullify his impact. Given a rousing applause when he departed the pitch. 8

6 Francois Cros: Thibaud Flament’s try was a direct result of Cros’ breakdown brilliance and relentless work rate from the world-class back-rower. It’s a staple of his game, and he was brutally effective throughout the clash. Topped the tackle count and was rightfully named player of the match as his sensational form this year continues. A back-row masterclass. 9

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Tight five

5 Emmanuel Meafou: Caused all kinds of headaches for the Harlequins defence, regularly drawing in multiple defenders with his offloading, making him a nightmare to defend against. Always committed a defender before passing too and was effective at the breakdown and on defence. A mammoth shift from the gargantuan second-rower. 7

4 Thibaud Flament: Another forward whose tank seems endless as he powered through a marvellous performance. He scored a try after robbing Chandler Cunningham-South and created another with a great lineout steal that set the tone for Toulouse’s performance. 8

3 Dorian Aldegheri: Was battered in the scrums by Harlequins’ rookie loosehead Fin Baxter and conceded a silly penalty for backchat. Won an important turnover before he was subbed off after a rather average outing. 4

2 Peato Mauvaka: An all-action 50-minute shift that included a try, two clean breaks, eight tackles, a turnover and 43 metres. His lineouts were on point and put in a truly breathtaking shift. 8

1 Cyril Baille: From far his best scrummaging performance as Will Collier impressed once again but was effective elsewhere with big clear-outs, tackles and carries. 6

Replacements: A few notable standouts include Julien Marchand and Richie Arnold, but Ramos was the pick of the replacements, adding more zip and pace to the backline. The bench did manage to hang onto the win despite the pressure from Quins. 7

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