Sunday, May 16, 2010
Perpignan knocked Toulouse out of the Top 14 with a 21-13 victory over their French rivals in the semi final in Montpelier on Friday. Jerome Porical kicked all 21 points as they progressed to the final, where they will face Clermont, who beat Toulon yesterday.
Toulouse had hoped to get a rare double by winning both the Top 14 and Heineken Cup, but thats not possible now so theyll throw everything into that final next weekend.
They did get off to a good start though, with scrumhalf Nicolas Bezy scoring early on thanks to a typically Toulouse counterattack and classy interplay. They were also up 13-9 at halftime, with two other penalties againt the three from Porical.
The defending champions Perpignan took control in the second half though with fullback Porical kicking four penalties to place them out of reach and into the final.
There was a bit of a scuffle in the second half, with Toulouse wing Vilimoni Delasau making an accusation of eye-gouging, one that is taken very seriously these days. We'll wait to see if anything develops from that.
Coach Jacques Brunel was delighted with the win, saying it was hard work getting there, but that his side couldnt wait to face Toulouse. "We knew this would be very, very tight from the start.
"Even when we were four points down at half-time, we knew there was still everything to play for. We are in the final again, but I don't know whether we are stronger than last year.
"We want to defend our title, but we know it'll be very difficult," he added.