Toulouse win French derby

2014-10-19 18:11
Thierry Dusautoir (AFP)

Paris - Record four-time champions Toulouse began their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign in fine style on Sunday with a 30-23 victory over fellow French Top 14 outfit Montpellier.

In a see-saw battle, a brilliant individual try from Toulouse scrum-half Jean-Marc Doussain, who broke down the left wing before chipping ahead and winning the foot-race to touch down, proved the difference.

"It was very important for us to win this match, we know that Montpellier are able to win at any ground in France and Europe," said Toulouse forwards coach William Servat, a former international prop.

"They came here here with a lot of ambition."

Montpellier will perhaps be ruing a missed opportunity having taken the lead towards the end of the first half following a try from Timoci Nagusa, only to turn around at the break trailing 13-10 after switching off and allowing Yoann Huget to win a race to New Zealander fly-half Luke McAlister's grubber kick.

"It was a match with a lot of suspense. Right to the end it could have gone either way, it's a bit of a shame," said Montpellier head coach Fabien Galthie.

"We were twice ahead, we told ourselves 'we're going to do this' but there was a bit too much wastage, dropped balls that went against us."

Doussain's winning try also came when the hosts were down to 14 men following Samoa prop Census Johnston's sin-binning.

Scoring with a numerical disadvantage seemed to be the order of the day as Montpellier took the lead in the second half a minute after their own fly-half Teddy Iribaren was shown a yellow card, as South African centre Wynand Olivier crossed the whitewash.

Yet before they could get back to a full allocation, Huget scored his second try and put the hosts back in the driving seat.

Once back in the fray, Iribaren landed his second penalty of the match to level the scores at 20-20.

But Doussain's try, converted by former England fly-half Toby Flood, stretched Toulouse's lead back out to seven points.

Substitutes Flood and Montpellier's Benoit Paillaugue traded late penalties that ensured the visitors at least took home a losing bonus point.

Toulouse now trail Glasgow, who thumped Bath 37-10 on Saturday, in Pool 4, with the Scots travelling to Montpellier next weekend and the English side, champions in 1998, entertaining the four-time winners.

In Sunday's other early match, Ospreys ran in five tries to secure a bonus point victory in a 42-7 thumping of Italians Treviso.

Full-back Dan Evans scored a brace with Canadian wing Jeff Hassler, scrum-half Rhys Webb and No.8 Dan Baker also touching down as fly-half Dan Biggar kicked 17 points.

Trevisio's score came from a Ludovico Nitoglia try converted by English fly-half Joe Carlisle.

Ospreys, who are unbeaten in the Celtic League this season, top Pool 5 by a point from Racing-Metro, who beat Northampton 20-11 on Saturday.

The Welsh region travel to England next weekend with the Parisians heading to northern Italy.

Read more on:    toulouse  |  rugby

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