Toulouse player ratings: Blair Kinghorn and Jack Willis shine in statement win over Exeter Chiefs

David Skippers
Jack Willis for Toulouse against Exeter Chiefs.

Jack Willis for Toulouse against Exeter Chiefs.

After their 64-26 victory over Exeter Chiefs in the Investec Champions Cup quarter-final at Stade Ernest Wallon, here’s how the Toulouse squad performed on Sunday.

Brilliant backline

15 Blair Kinghorn: He was one of the home side’s heroes as he looked dangerous on attack throughout, finishing with 96 metres gained and crossed for two tries. Kinghorn was also solid off the kicking tee with five conversions and a penalty which meant he finished with a 23-point haul. 9

14 Juan Cruz Mallia: Another who was a genuine attacking threat, and he got through plenty of work with ball in hand. The Los Pumas flyer finished with 45 metres gained and scored a brace of tries. 8

13 Paul Costes: Came into the run-on side and gave a good account of himself, especially on attack, where he ran hard and did well to create try-scoring opportunities. Was also solid on defence and made eight tackles. 8

12 Pita Ahki: The Tongan international continued where he left off in last week’s quarter-final win against Racing 92 as he made a huge impact with ball in hand. Was rewarded with a brace of tries and delivered a strong defensive performance as he finished with 12 tackles made. 8

11 Matthis Lebel: The 25-year-old was in the thick of the action and had a plethora of attacking opportunities and although he did not cross the whitewash, he kept Exeter’s defence on their toes throughout. 7

10 Romain Ntamack: Caught the eye with another impressive performance after returning to action recently following a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a serious knee injury. Scored his side’s first try and his playmaking skills also came to the fore with some fine touches during a 69-minute stint. 8

9 Antoine Dupont (c): Showed again why he is so highly rated as he caught the eye with his excellent decision making and superb vision which created space for his teammates to exploit on attack. The Toulouse skipper was superb on attack and showed his class with a well-taken try. 8

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.

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8 Alexandre Roumat: Although the 26-year-old delivered a brave performance and took the fight to his opponents, he made little headway as the Chiefs defence kept him in check up front. Was a valuable source of possession at the lineouts but less influential on defence. 6

7 François Cros: The France international came to the fore with a strong all-round performance and showed why he is one of the world’s best players in his position. Cros shone at the breakdown where he won some crucial turnovers and did well on defence where made 12 tackles. 8

6 Jack Willis: Another one who impressed in most facets of play, the Englishman was one of Toulouse’s star performers. Willis was dangerous with ball in hand and eventually gained 63 metres, which included a deserved try for his efforts, but also did his bit on defence and finished 10 hits. 9

5 Emmanuel Meafou: Caught the eye with several outstanding carries but made his biggest contribution on defence as he finished with 10 tackles made and several of those were big hits which halted his opponents’ momentum. 8

4 Richie Arnold: The Wallaby second-row won his fair share of lineout balls and also put some pressure on his opponents on their throw-ins at the set-piece. He also did his bit on defence and eventually made seven tackles. 8

3 Dorian Aldegheri: Les Rouge et Noir held the upper-hand in the tight exchanges, especially the scrums where Aldegheri was his usual solid self. Also did well on defence with 10 tackles made before being replaced by Joel Merkler in the 57th minute. 7

2 Peato Mauvaka: The 27-year-old was at the forefront of Toulouse’s onslaught up front as he took the fight to the visitors with some strong carries. Gained good attacking momentum, gaining 23 metres but was yellow carded early on for a defensive foul close to his try-line. 7

1 Cyril Baille: Another one who caught the eye with a good scrummaging display but he too put his body on the line on defence as he made six tackles during a 57-minute stint on the field. 7

Replacements: Toulouse’s bench did what was expected of them as the likes of Thomas Ramos, Julien Marchand and Joshua Brennan delivered fine performances when they entered the fray and continued with the good work of the players who they replaced. 7

READ MORE: Blair Kinghorn brace helps Antoine Dupont’s Toulouse ease past Exeter Chiefs in Champions Cup quarter-final