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Toulouse set to begin title defence at Cardiff

Thursday 9th December 2021

9:00 am (GMT)

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Toulouse set to begin title defence at Cardiff

Stade Toulousain lift the Heineken Champions Cup trophy at Twickenham Stadium

Stade Toulousain travel to Cardiff Rugby in their Heineken Champions Cup Pool B opener on Saturday as they go in search of a sixth European crown and defend the title they won last season. 

Cardiff came out on top the last time the two sides faced off in European competition, winning 17-15 away and 18-13 at home in the pool stage of the 2017/18 EPCR Challenge Cup. 

The game at Cardiff Arms Park kicks off at 13:00 (UK & Irish time) and will be available to watch on BT Sport, Channel 4 and Virgin Media. 

Other key facts: 

  • Cardiff and Toulouse first met in Europe in the 1995/96 European Cup final, a game won by the French side after extra time. Since then the sides have met seven times in the competition, with Cardiff winning three and losing four of those clashes. 
  • Toulouse are the defending Heineken Champions Cup champions, having won the competition last season for a record-breaking fifth time. Cardiff remain the only Welsh team to have reached the final of the competition (losing to Toulouse in 1995/96). 
  • Toulouse scrum-half Antoine Dupont was the joint top try-scorer in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, crossing the whitewash four times.  
  • Toulouse won 27/27 scrums on their own feed in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, the most of any of the five sides to maintain a 100% success rate in this facet of the game. 

Key quotes: 

Julien Marchand (Stade Toulousain captain): “There’s a lot to look forward to, whether this be at home or away, or abroad. So, everyone is excited to embark on a new campaign and achieve something special again. We had a brilliant season [in 2020-21] and reaped the rewards at the end of it, so repeating it would be pretty good.” 

Josh Adams (Cardiff wing): “There’s no pressure on us. I am sure everybody is expecting Toulouse to beat us, but within our inner circle we’re quietly confident we can cause them problems.”

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Toulouse overpower brave Cardiff

Saturday 11th December 2021

3:25 pm (GMT)

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Toulouse overpower brave Cardiff

Stade Toulousain scrum-half Antoine Dupont

Stade Toulousain began their defence of the Heineken Champions Cup title with a 39-7 win over a plucky Cardiff Rugby side at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

The inexperienced hosts produced some admirable defence in the opening stages, but their eagerness to compete at the breakdown saw them concede two penalties which were duly kicked by Romain Ntamack – he tallied 14 points over the course of the game.

However, they refused to roll over and their best attacking phase of the game resulted in Josh Adams crossing under the posts and Jason Tovey’s conversion saw the hosts take a surprise lead.

Cardiff were resolute but 2021 EPCR European Player of the Year Antoine Dupont made a break shortly before half time, creating the opportunity for Anthony Jelonch to score Toulouse’s first try.

Dupont was the catalyst again just before half time as he broke from deep to kickstart a move which resulted in Pita Ahki going over.

Cardiff came into the second period just 13 points down on the five-time European champions, but as the game approached the hour mark they began to fatigue and Dupont got himself on the scoresheet as he fended off several defenders to skip over the line.

Dupont then turned supplier once again as he dropped a pinpoint cross-kick into the hands of Arthur Bonneval who had the simplest of tasks to score try number four for Toulouse on 65 minutes.

Cardiff full-back Jacob Beetham was sent off for a high tackle late on– a disappointing end to memorable debut –shortly before Joe Tekori went over as he benefitted from a dominant scrum.

Cardiff travel to Harlequins in Round 2 next Saturday while Toulouse are at home to Wasps the following day.

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