Rugby

Bok flank Elstadt stars in Toulouse comeback

2019-11-16 07:26
Rynhardt Elstadt
Rynhardt Elstadt (Getty Images)

London - Four-time winners Toulouse roared back in the second half against Gloucester to begin their Champions Cup challenge with a 25-20 win on Friday in the opening match of the competition.

Scrumhalf Joe Simpson scored two outstanding runaway tries to give the English side a 20-9 half-time lead but Toulouse regrouped to score 16 unanswered points in the second period.

Danny Cipriani converted Simpson's tries and kicked two penalties to complete the scoring for Gloucester.

Sebastien Bezy scored a try for Toulouse, which Thomas Ramos converted as well as kicking four penalties, and Romain Ntamack kicked another penalty and Zack Holmes added a drop goal.

Springbok flank Rynhardt Elstadt was a star for Toulouse, producing a man-of-the-match performance which saw him terrorise Gloucester's lineout.

In his post-match interview, Elstadt revealed that his friendship with former Stormers team-mate and Gloucester lock Gerbrandt Grobler helped him read the opposition lineout.

English side cracked

Toulouse took an early advantage with a Holmes drop goal before the hosts scored a sparkling opening try.

From just outside their 22, Gloucester nicked a lineout for Simpson to burst away and exchange passes with Matt Banahan before the scrum-half ran 55 metres to just hold off Ramos's tackle.

Ten minutes later, Simpson got an even better one, running 80 metres to score after Toulouse lost possession.

Two Ramos penalties were followed by one from Cipriani to give Gloucester the half-time advantage.

Toulouse introduced Scotland international lock Richie Gray and withdrew Holmes at the break and the changes paid immediate dividends when Ntamack and Ramos both kicked penalties to reduce the deficit.

Thanks to dogged Gloucester defending the score was 20-15 going into the final quarter but the English side cracked in the face of intense pressure and Bezy scored the crucial try which Ramos converted.

Mark Atkinson was penalised for a late tackle and Ramos knocked over the resulting kick to complete Toulouse's comeback.

 

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