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Toulouse await either Leinster or La Rochelle in the Champions Cup final

The French side will be out to earn their fifth European crown in the decider at Twickenham.

Toulouse 21

Bordeaux 9

TOULOUSE EARNED THEIR place in the Heineken Champions Cup final with a 21-9 victory at home against fellow Top 14 side Bordeaux.

antoine-dupont-makes-a-break-152021 Antoine Dupont sealed Toulouse's win. Source: Dave Winter/INPHO

Ugo Mola’s side have secured their place in the decider at Twickenham on 22 May, when will play the winner of tomorrow’s semi-final between La Rochelle and Leinster.

Wet conditions at Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse didn’t always help the spectacle in this first semi-final, while Bordeaux showed understandable signs of rust after three weekends without a game due to Covid-19 cases in their set-up, but Toulouse deserved their win.

Matthis Lebel scored a try early on and Toulouse sealed the deal with a characteristic Antoine Dupont score that featured a slick build-up. 

With Romain Ntamack slotting 11 points off the tee, Toulouse had too much for Bordeaux and fulfilled their favouritism to advance into this season’s final.

It will be Toulouse’s first Heineken Champions Cup decider since 2010 and if Leinster beat La Rochelle tomorrow, they will be battling it out with Mola’s men to become the first club to win the trophy five times. 

matthis-lebel-celebrates-after-scoring-the-opening-try-152021 Matthis Lebel celebrates scoring the opening try. Source: Dave Winter/INPHO

Bordeaux captain Matthieu Jalibert notched the first points of the game with a penalty after loosehead prop Thierry Paiva earned a breakdown turnover but Toulouse responded swiftly with an excellent try, sweeping the ball wide to the left – a lovely tip on from Maxime Médard helping it along – where 22-year-old wing Lebel continued his superb form by beating Nans Ducuing to score.

Having missed a 10th-minute chance with his second penalty attempt, Jalibert nudged the visitors in front at 6-5 going into the second quarter following sustained pressure in Toulouse’s 22.

Christophe Urios’ men were soon reduced to 14 men as flanker Cameron Woki was sin-binned for deliberately knocking on a cross-field kick on a quickly-taken Toulouse penalty. With Lebel waiting for the kick to find him wide on the left, Woki seemingly attempted to bat the ball backwards but referee Wayne Barnes showed yellow.

Toulouse should have then had a five-metre lineout chance from the penalty but Ntamack kicked the ball dead and Bordeaux managed the rest of Woki’s sin-bin window without conceding.

maxime-medard-comes-up-against-thierry-paiva-152021 Maxime Médard attacks for Toulouse. Source: Dave Winter/INPHO

However, Ntamack nailed a penalty shot to nudge les Toulousains back in front just before the break.

The France out-half was able to extend their advantage early in the second half with another three points off the tee, pushing Toulouse out to 11-6.

In an error-strewn second half, Bordeaux struggled to get a foothold in promising positions as both teams made handling mistakes.

Ntamack’s third penalty with just over 15 minutes remaining gave Toulouse some breathing room with an eight-point margin, though Jalibert responded off the tee for a 14-9 scoreline heading into the final 10.

But Toulouse finally finished them off after Cheslin Kolbe regained a kick in the air and then fluid play from the outstanding Pita Ahki and Médard allowed Zack Holmes to offload and reward Dupont’s typical inside support line for their second try. 

Toulouse scorers:

Tries: Matthis Lebel, Antoine Dupont

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Conversions: Romain Ntamack [1 from 2]

Penalties: Romain Ntamack [3 from 3] 

Bordeaux scorers:

Penalties: Matthieu Jalibert [3 from 4]

TOULOUSE: Maxime Médard; Cheslin Kolbe, Zack Holmes, Pita Ahki, Matthis Lebel; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand (captain), Charlie Faumuina; Rory Arnold, Richie Arnold; Alban Placines, Francois Cros, Jerome Kaino.

Replacements:Peato Mauvaka, Clément Castets, Dorian Aldegheri, Joe Tekori, Rynhardt Elstadt, Antoine Miquel, Baptiste Germain, Juan Cruz Mallía.

BORDEAUX: Nans Ducuing; Romain Buros, Pablo Uberti, Yoram Falatea-Moefana, Ben Lam, Matthieu Jalibert (captain), Maxime Lucu; Thierry Paiva, Maxime Lamothe, Vadim Cobilas; Kane Douglas, Jandré Marais; Cameron Woki (yellow card ’26), Guido Petti, Alexandre Roumat.

Replacements: Joseph Dweba, Jefferson Poirot, Ben Tameifuna, Cyril Cazeaux, Scott Higginbotham, Yann Lesgourgues, Ulupano Seuteni, Thomas Jolmes.

Referee: Wayne Barnes [RFU].

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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