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Toulouse look to get back on track

Friday 11th January 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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The Ospreys know they probably have to go to France and beat Toulouse on their home turf if they are to stand any chance of achieving qualification for the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup this season. - 07/12/2012 07:30

The Ospreys know they probably have to go to France and beat Toulouse on their home turf if they are to stand any chance of achieving qualification for the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup this season. - 07/12/2012 07:30

Toulouse will be looking to get an emphatic victory and their Heineken Cup campaign back on the road when they face Italian side Benetton Treviso in their penultimate game of Pool 2.

The most successful side in Europe, having won the Heineken Cup in 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2010, will be looking to bounce back from their shock 17-6 defeat to the Ospreys in Swansea.

Guy Noves' French giants, widely regarded as the Real Madrid of European rugby, have only missed out on the Heineken Cup quarter-finals three times in the history of the tournament – and Noves has been there every step of the way.

Toulouse still find themselves second in Pool 2 – four points ahead of the Osprey and only one point behind Leicester Tigers – and will have one eye on the clash between their two rivals in Swansea.

The French side will be looking for a comprehensive victory over the improving Benetton Treviso to make sure they are one of the sides still in the hunt for a quarter-final place.

Treviso, who cannot qualify for the Heineken Cup knockout stages, are still looking for their first win in this Pool but would love nothing more than to add Toulouse to their list of big-name scalps.

But the Italian side, who have never reached the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup, will be firm underdogs for their trip to France to play Toulouse at the Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday.

Match Facts

  • Toulouse have won both previous Heineken Cup meetings between these teams, way back in 1995 and their encounter earlier this season.
  • Toulouse have averaged 21 defenders beaten per game so far this season, a competition high.
  • Treviso’s Kristopher Burton has a 100% success rate with the boot from 10 place kicks this season. He is the only player to do so having attempted five or more.
  • Treviso have five victories against French teams in this tournament, suffering 26 losses.
  • Toulouse have lost eight of 65 home matches in this tournament and boast a win rate of 85% on their own ground.

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Toulouse and Clerc on song

Sunday 13th January 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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Grâce à son succès bonifié sur Trévise (35-14)

Grâce à son succès bonifié sur Trévise (35-14)

Toulouse bounced back from their defeat at the Ospreys with a bonus point 35-14 win against Benetton Treviso at Stade Ernest Wallon that took them to the top of the group and with a two-point advantage over Leicester Tigers.

It means it will be a winner-takes-all Sunday showdown at Welford Road between Toulouse and the Tigers with the defeat of the Ospreys ending Welsh interest in the tournament.

Treviso struck first with scrum half Tobias Botes on target with a penalty but Toulouse responded with the ball in hand, albeit from close range as a quickly taken penalty ended with hooker Gary Botha being driven over by his fellow forwards.

But the lead lasted just four minutes before centre Tommaso Benvenuti finished off a sweeping virtual length of the field move to remind the four-times champions they could not let their guard down for a moment.

And in a virtual repeat of their first try, Toulouse’s second also came from a quickly taken penalty and then the forwards collectively doing the business with lock Patricio Albacete adjudged to be the try score from under the pile of bodies.

However, the home crowd were getting restless and when Botes landed a penalty just before the break it was 14-14 with all to play for in the second period.

Treviso made a raft of replacements at the start of the second half and one of them – prop Michele Rizzo – had only been on the field for a couple of minutes before departing for a 10-minute spell in the sin bin.

And while they were down to 14 men the tournament’s leading try scorer Vincent Clerc struck with his 35th Heineken Cup try courtesy of a pin-point cross-kick.

Luke McAlister added his third successful conversion and another cross-kick and another try – this time for centre Florian Fritz – and that was the bonus point in the bank with Yoann Huget getting a fifth at the death.

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