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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Toulouse beat Montpellier to take another Top 14 title

Toulouse beat Montpellier to take another Top 14 title

Stade Toulouse won their 18th French championship title as they fought back to beat Montpellier 15-10 in the Top 14 final in Paris this past weekend.

The only try of the game, a brilliant solo effort, was scored by Montpellier's flying Fijian wing Tamoci Nagusa. He later let his team down slightly as he was yellow carded for an infringement, which was the first of two periods of playing for 14 men for the surprise finalists.

While Toulouse flyhalf David Skrela failed to find his feet initially, missing a few kicks at posts, he was eventually replaced by Nicolas Bezy, who did a good job of taking the points on offer in the second half.

Montpellier, who finished sixth on the points table, snuck through by squeaking past Castres 18-17, then edging Racing Metro 26-25 in the semi final. While they had a decent lead for large parts of the final, the experience of Toulouse told, and the favourites worked their way back into the match, leading by just five points come the final whistle.

"You have to make your superiority count," said coach Guy Noves.

"When David was missing his kicks I said to myself 'it's just not possible' - it was complicated. I thought at one stage it might slip away. Finally we made our domination count," he added.


Time: 06:36

Posted at 1:41 pm | 26 comments

Viewing 26 comments

Anonymous June 07, 2011 1:43 pm

Not fair Toulouse's squad, just too good. Waiting for a much needed salary cap in top14...

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Tom June 07, 2011 2:17 pm

That seemed like a terribly boring game if those were the highlights.

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Ulf June 07, 2011 2:31 pm

@Tom - Top 14 Finals are always boring, as their is a lot of pressure on the players. But the sensation was immense, and Montpellier did really well.

In the end, it's a well deserved victory for Toulouse, even though they did not score any try.

Just for the fun fact : you can see Heymans lift the Brennus at the end of the video : he wanted to do it so bad (it is is last season with Toulouse) that he kicked Medard's butt and took his place : )

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moddeur June 07, 2011 3:34 pm

At the end of the video, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, ex-France scrum-half and now trainer for the Toulouse backs, is shown embracing Benot Paillaugue, the very young Montpellier scrum half who missed the end of the game (being yellow carded) => that's a nice gesture.

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Anonymous June 07, 2011 3:38 pm

i hate the espn's commentators. do they even know anything about rugby? n i mean gomersall as well. fair enough i respect him for hes achieved but with a voice like that making the most annoying comments pallleasee espn

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Rob June 07, 2011 3:45 pm

I watched it in French. Their excitable commentators might have over-done it, but it was enjoyable to watch despite being a (mostly) penalty shoot-out. Unlike UK/Ire games with the same result, the ball was still being chucked around with a fair degree of French flair. Defences were immense, though, especially that of Montpellier. Agree re: Elissalde's gesture at the end - class act!

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Colombes June 07, 2011 4:23 pm

Same usual story, Rugby is a sport with 15 players and Toulouse win it at the end. They deserved it and it was a good farewell for players like heymans, skrela or kelleher

A tense final, but finals are not often pretty to watch. Montpellier looklikes very much to northampton squad, a very young side with immense talents with trinh-duc, ouedraogo, paillaugue and dumayrou. they will win it in a short future.

gentleman gesture from JB Elissalde, maybe the next toulouse trainer if noves takes "Les Bleus" challenge after the rwc

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Anonymous June 07, 2011 4:34 pm

Well, as you said a final is sometimes a boring game but don`t forget that these guys played a full season and many of them as well with their international team.

Love the contact (friendly ;) btw Picamoles and his former partners...

Nice gesture from Elissalde to benoit, two scrum half from the same formation center ( La Rochelle) and Elissalde knows that MHRC could be a top team.

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Wonderful running fr June 07, 2011 4:37 pm

Is it just me or was there only one fan in that stadium, and he was playing a horn/vuvuzeela for the whole game?

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orange June 07, 2011 4:51 pm

This was a pretty disappointing match, I thought.

I watched it as a neutral, not really caring who won, but Montpellier were definitely the side who showed more heart and desire to win. Pity they didn't pull off the upset.

The game seemed dictated a bit too much by the referee, which took some of the enjoyment out of it...but that's just the nature of Top 14 matches in general.

(for the record though, Montpellier did themselves a bit of disservice by taking the quick tap after the penalty after the 80th minute - the ref surely could've carded Picamoles, given that he gave Nagusa a yellow in the 34th minute for exactly the same thing...and who knows if it would've mattered, but it's easier to score a try on a team with only 14 men)

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David Humphreys June 07, 2011 5:01 pm

Nagusa learned how to score like that in Ulster.

Wonderful gesture from Elissalde; I thought he was a good guy before but my respect for him has just shot up.

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EARugbyFan June 07, 2011 5:38 pm

Agree with the others above me. I was a little underwhelmed. I was expecting a bonanza of French flair topped off with Cacau running havoc.

Oh well. The Top 14 has produced some excellent watching all the same.

Question for the rest of you:

In the clip, was the penalty called at the 5:02 mark fair? I assumed the ball was technically out of the ruck and the Tolouse tackler was being simply enterprising.

Thanks again RD!!

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Frenchy June 07, 2011 5:58 pm

Very boring game indeed! Toulouse just made it against a brave Montpellier team.

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Anonymous June 07, 2011 6:04 pm

In fact both Elissalde and Paillaugue are from La Rochelle where they started playing rugby- this could explain Elissalde attitude.

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Threma June 07, 2011 6:38 pm

Ouedraogo (Montpellier's captain) played with a broken hand. He got knocked out just before half-time but struggled to stay on the pitch. He was finally replaced at the 69th minute. He came out best tackler of his team. This guy is a monster. I hope he will recover fast enough for the WC prep.
Bad news though for France, as if our first row was not damaged enough, Servat injured himself during the first half. It will be complicated for him to make it to the WC.

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Ronan June 07, 2011 7:10 pm

seemed like a realy messy final...
anyone see the full game?

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Anonymous June 07, 2011 10:48 pm

@ moddeur yea that was a nice gesture, the poor young guy would have felt terrible.

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Rob June 07, 2011 11:34 pm

Not sure you can see it in the video, but in photos there were two kids (teens?) wearing Brive kit. Anyone know what that was about???

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Rob June 08, 2011 2:10 am

...also I am very horny right now, so if one of you big strong rugby lads send me a few naughty pics id be so pleased.

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Anonymous June 08, 2011 2:39 am

lol, western force would win this comp.

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4LC4TR4Z June 08, 2011 9:14 am

It could be funny to see the Western Force in a 10 months competition with 1 or 2 games a week, with a relegation zone, and a qualifying zone for an international competition and play offs...


Elissalde and Paillauge both come from La Rochelle, and moreover, their families are neighbours and knows each other, and Elissalde was the rugby idol for the kid.

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Anonymous June 08, 2011 10:09 am

Oh baby please

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John F June 08, 2011 10:49 am

Do Toulouse actually score tries in finals? They always carry the tag round with them of the most flashy, exciting team in Europe. But they are far behind a team like Leinster in terms of attacking play. They do know how to win finals though. A good side but not quite as good as their reputation always makes them out to be. It was so obvious that Montpellier would do themselves proud but that Toulouse would ultimately win. Well done to Galthier and co anyway.

Agree about Ouadraogo though. Such a balanced and skillful back-row player. Superb supporting player and has that kind of dynamism that wouldn't look out of place in the Super 15. He'll be off to a bigger club soon I presume? Poor Montpellier!

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Anonymous June 08, 2011 2:52 pm

@ Rob : The kids weren't wearing a Brive jersey but the SCUF one (Sporting Club Universitaire de France). Charles Brennus, who made the Bouclier, played for the SCUF in the beginning of the 20th century, that's why two young rugbyplayers from this club present each year the trophy to the winner. Nice tradition, isn't it?

Anyway, the game was poor in tries but both teams missed several kicks (15 points for Skrela). I bet it'd be different if the Stade converted each penalty kick, Montpellier wouldn't have close the game that much, they would have more attacked and we would have seen spaces for both.

Toulouse desserve it and has played a beautiful rugby since august ...

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Rob June 08, 2011 11:15 pm

okay thanks, fancy hooking up with me sexy ;)

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Anonymous June 09, 2011 3:25 pm

First highlight...should have been a 5m scrum, not a 22. The player touched the ball while in touch, meaning the ball is in touch...just sayin'...

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