Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Toulouse beat last year's Top 14 champions Perpignan 38-29 on Saturday in a great game of rugby that included a few fantastic tries. Toulouse scored five tries, including a great effort from Byron Kelleher, and two for Clement Poitrenaud.
Toulouse have now gone joint top with Montpellier and Racing Metro, but have an inferior points difference so sit in second place, ahead of Montpellier and Toulon.
Perpignan had started well and an outstanding try by number nine David Mele before Toulouse bounced back with a nice finish from Fijian wing Vilimoni Delesau in the corner. Shortly before the break, they scored again thanks to Pointrenaud snatching a neat chip before passing to Vincent Clerc who dived over for the try.
With the match evenly poised at 16-15, All Black Byron Kelleher scored a powerful solo effort as he brushed off the attempted tackles by the loosies, then showed his pace and strength to get over in the corner. Perpignan coach Jacques Brunel said that was very costly for his side. "That was the first turning point of the game, at the beginning of the second-half and Kelleher's try. That cost us dear," he said.
Toulouse backline coach Jean-Baptiste Elissalde concurred. "We had a difficult beginning, but the try out of the blue by Kelleher did us the world of good. It is not something we work on at training and is really an individual spirit.
William Servat and Pointrenaud also scored, with David Skrela kicking 13 points in total.
Kelleher believes his side put in such a great performance thanks to the level of intensity in the Heineken Cup recently. "The victory against USAP isn't directly as a result of our performance. It's also about the culmination of a lot of physical and technical work done over the last three weeks.
"The break (from the Top 14) that the Heineken Cup offered allowed us to undoubtedly raise our game. In the match against Perpignan, we weren't a long way from test match level given the number of internationals on the pitch, the intensity, and the spectacle," he said.
It was a great game of rugby but as we cant show the full eighty minutes, heres some of the best tries from the game, as well as the hard fought final try for Perpignan.