Toulouse - France wing Yoann Huget scored two tries as Toulouse won the French title for a 20th time beating Clermont 24-18 on Saturday.
dotted down either side of the break as the side who finished in pole
position in the Top 14 table at the end of the regular season lifted the
title in their first final appearance since 2012.
scored a record amount of tries for a side during the 26-game campaign,
failed in their attempt to win a European and league double after
lifting the Challenge Cup in May despite a flawless kicking performance
from Scotland's Greig Laidlaw.
"It's crazy. It's magnificent. We had an incredible season," Toulouse centre Sofiane Guitoune told France 2 TV.
played our game, we scored two tries and we could have scored more, we
never gave in, everyone together. It was hard until the end, it's
The Stade de France pitch had been damaged by concert
from K-Pop boy band BTS a week earlier but it failed to hamper both
teams' intent to play.
Laidlaw opened the scoring within the first
two minutes with a penalty after early fisticuffs, crossing the
200-point mark in the league for the season.
Jerome Kaino chose for a shot at goal three minutes later and France's
Thomas Ramos brought the teams all square 3-3 after nine minutes.
Laidlaw and Ramos then slotted a further penalty each for a 6-6 score with a quarter of the game gone.
went into the lead on 28 minutes as South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe took a
wide arching run targeting a vulnerable Alivereti Raka and fed Huget in
Ramos missed the touchline conversion for a 11-6 score.
Kolbe was then shown a yellow card after 33 minutes.
Fritz Lee broke free with Peceli Yato alongside in support but Kolbe
tackled the Fiji back-row early and he spent the rest of the half in the
Laidlaw slotted his third three-pointer of the game to close Toulouse's advantage as the first half ended 11-9.
re-established his side's five-point lead with a penalty on 48 minutes
following heavy pressure from Champions Cup losing semi-finalists then
Laidlaw converted another three-pointer to close the gap to 14-12 with
less than half an hour to play.
On 54 minutes, Huget, again
making the most of Raka's poor positioning, scored his second try at the
end of the stadium filled by fans in red and black.
The ball was
worked wide by the likes of Ramos and Maxime Medard, the sole survivor
of their last appearance at a Top 14 final in 2012 and Huget dived over
unopposed for his 10th try in all competitions for the campaign and
Toulouse led by nine points.
Laidlaw kept his perfect record for
the match with his fifth effort as Clermont trailed by 21-15 with less
than 20 minutes to play.
Ramos added another penalty goal and France flyhalf Camille Lopez did so too for a 24-18 score.