Champions Cup: Toulouse snatch their qualification for the quarter-finals on the ground of Ulster

The defending champion continues his journey. At the end of the suspense, Stade Toulousain obtained its qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup on the ground of Ulster (30-23), Saturday April 16. A try from Antoine Dupont in the 75th minute tipped this double confrontation, after the frustrating defeat of the first leg (20-26). The lead, of one point over the two games (50-49), is enough for Ugo Mola’s happiness. Its players join Munster, who had beaten Exeter earlier, in the quarter-finals.

To say that Toulouse has curled the correctional is an understatement. On this return leg, the Rouge et Noir broke their teeth on an extremely compact defense and lost many balls. Their initial handicap of six points even increased rapidly, after Ethan Mcilroy’s try (11th). Held in check (23-23) five minutes from the end, they relied on their international scrum half, positioned at the opening end of the match. The Toulouse have, it is true, been helped by the expulsion of the pillar replacing Tom O’Toole (65th), two minutes after his entry into play.

Above all, the Haut-Garonne club relied, as so often, on the ardor of its “Slamards”. Besides Dupont, Romain Ntamack shone with a thousand lights. Ten minutes were enough for the opener to revive a Toulouse machine hitherto exhausted. His daring interval take, relayed by his number 9 then concluded by Ramos (22nd), was essential. While his team was on the back foot, Ntamack intercepted a Northern Irish pass in his twenty-two meters. He then put the canes to offer himself a solo test (27th), which looks like his individual achievement in Wales, in 2020.

These two flashes weigh heavily, but we must not hide the density put by the Toulouse forwards in the rucks either. “We had said it all week, we scratched important balloons”, analyzed after the fact the flanker Anthony Jelonch, on beIN Sports. A similar intensity will be expected in the quarter-finals, against Munster, in the dreaded cathedral of Thomond Park. But, last year, Toulouse had already triumphed there in the round of 16, on the road to his coronation.

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