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PREVIEW: Toulouse look to bounce back at Oyonnax

Tuesday 12th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Les deux candidats français de cette poule 1

Les deux candidats français de cette poule 1

Toulouse travel to Top14 rivals Oyonnax on Saturday as they look to finish their Pool 1 campaign on a high after back-to-back defeats to Ulster.

The four-time champions have failed to reach the quarter-finals for the second time in as many years after suffering losses to Saracens and Ulster. Their only win came at home to Oyonnax in round two with a hard-fought 24-18 triumph at Stade Ernest Wallon.

But Oyonnax will fancy their chances in the Rhone-Alps, after coming so close against Ulster in their re-arranged round one fixture. A flawless first-half performance saw them race into a 23-0 lead at the break. But their hearts were broken in the second period as tries from Craig Gilroy, Rory Scholes and Kyle McCall rescued a 24-23 win for the Ulstermen. Champions Cup debutants Oyonnax are still without a win in their maiden campaign, and will be determined to overcome European rugby’s most successful side in this all-French battle.

Saracens look certain to claim an automatic qualification spot as they sit top of Pool 1 on 19 points, with four wins from their four matches so far. Ulster still have a chance of qualifying for the last eight, and need at least one more win in their remaining fixtures with Oyonnax and Saracens.

So, both of these sides may be out of this year’s competition, but they have a big part to play in deciding who goes through to the knockout rounds.

Match Facts

  • Toulouse have won 10 of their 12 Champions Cup games against fellow French opposition (L1, D1).
  • Oyonnax have won both of their home games against fellow French sides in European competition (both in the Challenge Cup).
  • Toulouse have lost their last three away games in the Champions Cup, the last time they last four on the bounce was in 2001.
  • Toulouse made almost 600 metres (593) with the ball in hand against Oyonnax when they met earlier this season (Oyonnax made 342), the most they have made in a Champions Cup game since making 612 v Connacht in December 2013

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REPORT: Oyonnax claim famous Toulouse win

Saturday 16th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Le club de l'Ain a signé la première victoire de son histoire dans la compétition face à Toulouse (32-14). Malgré une température glaciale

Le club de l'Ain a signé la première victoire de son histoire dans la compétition face à Toulouse (32-14). Malgré une température glaciale

Oyonnax claimed their first-ever victory in the European Rugby Champions Cup as they beat four-time champions Toulouse 32-14 with a four-try bonus-point display.

Those tries for the hosts came through Silvere Tian, Uwa Tawalo, Fabien Cibray and Eamonn Sheridan with Nicky Robinson and Regis Lespinas kicking their remaining points.

Toulouse registered two tries through powerful number eight Gillian Galan, both converted by scrum-half David Mele but it was nowhere near enough on a snowy day at Stade Charles-Mathon.

The hosts could hardly have wished for a better start. Toulouse made a mess of gathering the opening kick-off and Oyonnax gratefully swooped on the loose ball and sent wing Tian in at the corner with just 26 seconds on the clock. 

Robinson converted and it was not long before the former Wales international was lining up another conversion. The fly-half produced a lovely grubber in behind the Toulouse defence and Tawalo gathered to get over the line.
Robinson soon added a penalty and Toulouse looked in for a long afternoon at 17-0 down, but they finally rallied just before half-time.

Galan was the man to finish off a strong rolling maul, with Mele converting, and Oyonnax then lost lock Geoffrey Fabri to the bin for a high tackle.

When Galan got over for his second try early in the second half, after a Cibray clearance was charged down, the game appeared to be back in the melting pot.

But the scrum-half atoned for his error by picking off a loose pass to run in an interception score, before a Lespinas penalty and Sheridan’s try completed the job and gave them a famous victory over their Top 14 rivals.

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