Catch up with Sam Warburton


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Barbarians too good for England XV


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


The Top 5 'Big Boppers' in World Rugby

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Classic Encounters - Toulouse vs Racing Metro

The Rugby World Cup is definitely the biggest thing happening on the world stage at the moment, but try telling that to French Top 14 supporters. They packed out Stade Municipal de Toulouse on the weekend for what turned out to be an absolute classic.

All Black outcast Luke McAlister has started a new chapter in his career with Toulouse, and by all accounts, its going swimmingly. The former Auckland Blues and Sales Sharks player guided his team to a brilliant 41-36 win over Racing Metro, with McAlister himself playing an integral role. He also kicked a 63m penalty.

A personal tally of 21 points and commanding flyhalf play led to Racing Metro's first defeat of the season. Tries were scored for Toulouse by captain Yannick Nyanga, Clement Pointrenaud, while Yannick Jauzion scored two.

While France are over in New Zealand looking to achieve their best ever World Cup result, a win, there are still a host of the highest quality of players plying their trade in the Top 14. And that's just the locals.

Nyanga, who himself was outstanding, was full of praise for McAlister, who wasn't included in an All Blacks squad jam-packed with talented backs. "Luke? He's a world class player," Nyanga said.

"At Stade, we've always had good fly-halves. We were very good there. He launches our game-plan perfectly and is always moving us forward. It's always easy to play with a 10 like that," he added.

Below are extended highlights of the match (playlist), coming to just under 20 minutes in total. 





Posted at 4:15 pm | 14 comments

Luke McAlister's 63m penalty kick for North Harbour

Viewing 14 comments

Matt2308 September 15, 2011 10:14 pm

French rugby at his best. love it!

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stroudos September 15, 2011 10:44 pm

2:22 - worst drop goal attempt ever!

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Juggernauter September 15, 2011 10:46 pm

How on earth didn't Livriemont take Wisnieszki, Fall and Poitrenaud to NZ? These kind of stupid mistakes will end their chances in the world cup. I just hope Saint Andre will put the house in order, he's a strong character and I think he'll give the french consistency!

By the way, great tries

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stroudos September 15, 2011 10:54 pm

Last play of the first half where Toulouse full-back scores a try: I think it's the Racing Metro #8 that slides in and takes him out knee-first. Not deliberately, not malicious but definitely a knee to the head, after the try's already been scored anyway.

Sound familiar??

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moddeur September 15, 2011 11:35 pm

Awesome match!!!
I'm glad MacAlister is having a great time. Living myself in Toulouse, I can tell you it's a fairly laid-back town. We don't have the sea or the ocean next door (you have to drive 1hr or 2hrs for the Mediterranean or the Atlantic), nor do we have mountains just around the corner (you have to drive 1hr to get to the Pyrénées, which you can see on a clear day - and once you pass those you'll land in Spain), but we have plenty of rugby-loving people with 68 licensed clubs around Toulouse (it's a record in France), and a quite lively town with lots of youths (about 110,000 students).

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Carlos September 15, 2011 11:36 pm

Wow, McAllistar just wow! I believe Toulouse just heired the perfect player. Very liable and versatile. In my opinion it would have been better to have in the world cup for NZ than Slade, much more experience and just as good as slade. I believe Slade is quite good to come as replacement in a controlled match but maybe not enough if carter gets injured and he has to play against hard opposition from start like AUS.
In tense moments, he kinda shakes, i guess it not his time yet, maybe same for lambie.

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mise September 16, 2011 1:36 am

u can add Yannick Jauzion to that list Juggernauter!

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Stefan September 16, 2011 3:26 am

Toulouse must be happy with the guys they have NOT going to the world cup! I bet the other top 14 clubs are scratching their heads at the international quality still available in that squad right now. But that's Lievremont for you.

Brilliant game, cracking highlights and maybe I should move to the south of France...

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Frenchie September 16, 2011 6:16 am

@ Juggernauter
Skrela is out of the WC due an injury, thanks God for the team. Sorry but that guy has been rubbish the whole preparation and the game vs Japan. Lievremont called on Doussain who played scrum half for Toulouse vs Racing Metro.
He's young, played the WC under 21 as a fly half which is the position he's been trained at. But i find him slow as a fly half and i don't think he is experienced enough to be thrown into the WC. I think Wisnieszki would have been better (although he seems injured), or Beauxis who has some experience at the international level.

Not sure about Fall. He had his chance with the French team but never produced anything really. We're fine there with Clerc, Palisson, Rougerie, Medard.

What do you think of France vs. Canada? This French team is beatable, Japan showed that, and the French could be in for a nasty/tight game.

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Juggernauter September 16, 2011 12:57 pm

Mate I think the back row will be paramount to France against Canada. The Canucks swept Tonga aside with a bloody physical display, and as much a fun of Harinordoquy as I am, I had the nasty feeling against Japan that he's becoming a bit complacient again, leaving the pshisicality kinda aside.

Bonnaire, Ouedraogo and Picamoles must be on top of their game to control the rucks and to stop guys like Riordan, Cudmore, O'Toole and van der Merwe from squeezing through the defence.

Also, the big centres picked by Livriemont (Mermoz and Marty) sure promises a physical midfield. All in all, I think it's gonna be a cracker, I hope Trinh - Duc plays really well, he's awesome to watch.

Oh, and what do you make of Livriemont insisting in picking Traille as a fullback? I think it's time to drop him, the same, for example, as Gordon D'Arcy.

Cheers

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Frenchie September 16, 2011 6:36 am

yep, Poitrenaud should be in the French team. At around 5:40 in the second half he showed what he can do and offered a great try for his team!

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donkeyballs4000 September 16, 2011 7:57 am

So many players that could easily be at the world cup. The French are spoilt for talent. Great game.

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Flipje September 16, 2011 12:58 pm

Brilliant

I understand I should not judge on one game but: is Slade that better than McAlister?

Doussain playing at scrum half since end of last year for Toulouse replacing Skrela a fly half.....Well Lievremont remains consistent in his inconsistency....

The nightmare continues unfolding itself....

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Guy September 16, 2011 7:58 pm

Wow!
Gordon Ramsey coaching Racing Metro...

Anywhoooo...great game, great highlights, great French commentary.

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