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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stirring Toulouse comeback ends with incredible late penalty-try victory

Toulouse came from behind to record a 34-32 injury-time win over Bordeaux-Begles on Saturday, following an incredible series of reset scrums. The referee eventually awarded a penalty try, which was casually converted by Luke McAlister for the win.

Bordeaux were heading for a famous victory after great play from Metuisela Talebula in particular, as he contributed to their first try - scored by Blair Connor - and then scored two of his own.

Toulouse trailed 29-10 and Bordeaux looked good, but Timoci Matanavou scored a late brace of tries, and then with time almost up, the visitors got a scrum 5 meters out.

They powered through the hosts, and while the referee tried his best to not have a huge bearing on the outcome of the game, a yellow card in the front row and then a penalty try followed after an incredible seventh scrum reset, six minutes into extra time.

With scores tied, replacement flyhalf Luke McAlister casually slotted the kick for the win.

"I haven’t seen that kind of scenario very often. But it’s not miraculous because the players deserved to be in that position and were putting Bordeaux under pressure," said Toulouse backs coach and former player, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

Other than the bizarre finish, there was sensational play throughout, with positive running and great bits of skill all over the park. If you have nine minutes to spare, make sure you watch this one.

Posted at 3:16 pm | 26 comments

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 26 comments

Citing Commissioner October 11, 2012 5:50 pm

Well I guess that's a textbook way not to referee a scrum in the closing minutes of a game. Clearly didn't have a clue and almost bottled it.

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Ali October 11, 2012 6:17 pm

Was the second to last try not wither:
handling the ball on the floor
Double movement?

I might be wrong. Can someone correct me?

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macmurchu October 12, 2012 12:35 am

Nope, didn't take the ball into contact and hold on to it, wasn't a ruck

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moddeur October 11, 2012 6:36 pm

What a match! When it started I thought "Toulouse is going to trample Bordeaux, I'll probably get bored halfway" ... but boy was I wrong.
Incredible running on rainy conditions. That 2nd Matanavu try was so bloody lucky (he trips, loses the ball, falls to the floor, and the ball lands right in his arms, so no knock-on).
Florian Fritz played scrum-half near the end of the game as Burgess and Doussain had left the field. A position he knew nothing much about, as he spent most of his time at that position playing like a 9th forward.

At the end I felt terrible for Bordeaux, as Toulouse clearly didn't deserve to win. But that's how you recognize a good team, even when they suck they still win in the end.

Sidenote: after the 5th or 6th scrum penalty in overtime Bordeaux should have let Toulouse score a try, this might have given them a chance of the following conversion not going through (and thus of a tie game). Kudos for their forwards for trying to resist until the end though, even one man down in the scrum.

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Addis October 11, 2012 6:45 pm

This is the weirdest game of rugby i have ever seen!!!! Two crazy tries the penalty try should either not have counted because the 5th penalty wasn't a penalty to toulouse and a penalty try should have been awarded on the third penalty

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Colombes October 11, 2012 6:47 pm

Exciting match but also very weird actions!
The 2nd try of Matanavou was quite lucky.

Begles defended very well during one hour, playing very well the counter-attacks.
But they finally felt in an exhausting strategy... and vs a Toulouse team and a large bench of players, u pay your efforts. this Connor is eye-catching.

Toulouse was quite sloppy (Matanavou really doesn't know how to defend) with the ball, maybe too much self-confidence.
But when in danger, they make the come-back and continue to play... the secret of big teams is maybe to win despite a small performances. Can be useful with the Hcup perspective

on the last scrum action, Begles shouldn't be sour, as it was a clear penalty try, but the ref should have managed these last scrums in a better way. I don't know if Top14 have reduced the 4 times of the scrum to 3 times such like in England, but it could help. does someone notice it in top14? Which rules will be elected for the Hcup?

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Curates_Egg October 11, 2012 6:54 pm

Double movement is only as regards placement of the ball for a try. The guy only made one movement to place the ball after he caught it.
The ball popped out of tackle but it neither hit the ground nor another player before it was recovered by the same player, so not forward. The same as juggling a pass in a forward direction before you finally catch it.
Very unlucky for a gutsy Bordeaux. Should've put it away.

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Reality October 11, 2012 7:13 pm

Why was the referee speaking English? He had what sounded to me like a French accent, so I assume he's French, and he's refereeing the French league, so...why no French?

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Matt October 11, 2012 7:37 pm

It was Marius Mitrea from Italy! they switched all the referees that week end

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Rocco October 11, 2012 7:28 pm

One week before H-cup, Top 14 matches are reffed by British referees to remind everyone how English sounds like^^

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Ottawa Rugger October 11, 2012 8:04 pm

I don't think I've ever seen a runner on a break-away simply drop the ball. That guy must be kicking himself right now. Probably won't ever forget that.

And as for the scrums at the end, I don't know exactly what was going on. Ref probably made the right call as it seemed like most of the infringements were being committed by Bordeaux. But does it really take so many to make up his mind? I expect there will be serious complaints by Bordeaux about this.

That said, that must have been one of the most thrilling matches I've seen in a while. I can't even imagine being in the stadium for those last minutes of injury time. How tense that would have been...

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Josh Macy October 11, 2012 8:24 pm

That ref did a great job. He gave so many chances to Bordeaux. You could just tell that the ref didn't want to be the deciding factor.

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alasdairduncan3 October 11, 2012 9:27 pm

That refereeing was terrible, verging on dangerous!

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Guy October 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Spectacular match. I think the slippery weather actaully contributed to the spectacle in this case.

Glad I was not the referee in this match. No matter what he was going to decide, after such a match it was destined to end in some sort of disappointentment.

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123456 October 11, 2012 11:11 pm

I'am starting to get very disepointed in the french rugby, It's great rugby but it is starting to look like freaking soccer. In my country we learned no talking against the ref the referee is always right and look at the last scrums they act like a bunch of gay soccer players. But doesnt change the fact that i loved to see this match just disepoints me how they are copying soccer players.

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mastablasta October 12, 2012 4:02 am

What an ignorant thing to say. The reffing of the scrum was absolutely terrible at the end of the game. No wonder they were upset. It would have been a HUGE win for Bordeaux, of course they are going to be heated when the calls are so obviously flawed.

Where are the proper refs? Isn't Super Rugby in the off season? Can't the TOP 14 afford to fly those blokes over and show them a properly reffed game?

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Guy October 12, 2012 9:26 am

Actually, I would have put it a bit more diplomatic, but I am more or less with 123456 on this one. You should always show respect for the ref or at least fake it, even if you dont agree. I know the testosteron etc. flies all over the place at such a moment but that's not an excuse.

Besides: let's not pretend that (m)any of us would know how to properly ref all the details at scrumtime. It's nearly impossible.

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stroudos October 12, 2012 10:33 am

mastablasta - you're the one showing ignorance here, no matter how shit the ref, (and he did completely lose grip on the game here), you still don't get in his face and scream at him. That's a different sport and it's called football (or soccer depending where you live). If you want to shout at the ref there are other options available.

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moddeur October 12, 2012 11:06 am

However much I agree with you that the Bordeaux players would have been very upset and thus let their anger flare a bit (especially due to an unsteady reffing of the scrum), I also do somewhat agree with 123456 that in pro rugby, not just in the Top14, players talk back to the ref more and more. The other day, in the Top14, I witnessed Damien Traille, captain of Biarritz, walk over to the referee and say "it's not possible, it's always us! (who are penalised) it's not possible!". He instantly lost almost all the sympathy I had for him.

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Guy October 12, 2012 12:49 pm

And I guess he lost the ref's sympathy as well. So the next 50/50 call will probably go to your opponent....not very smart and as I said on numerous occasions before: not a good example for kids with high aspirations.

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RedYeti October 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Bordeaux should definitely have let that scrum get pushed back over the line and either tried to hold up the 8, hope he knocked on or that the conversion was missed. Giving away a penalty try like that just guaranteed the loss

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Feddderico October 12, 2012 6:26 am

Ohh what a great game!

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naidoort October 12, 2012 7:59 am

Great game! Personally i don't think the penalty try was a clear try had the infringement not happened. Although i wonder what would have happened it another front rower got a yellow card? would this mean they switch to uncontested scrums thus nullifying the scrum advantage? Wonder if this was on the ref's mind

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stroudos October 12, 2012 10:36 am

Comedy moment - at 8:18, Bordeaux player for some reason thinks the ref's awarded them the penalty and the game's over, starts prancing about like a ballet dancer.....

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Matt October 12, 2012 5:20 pm

So the cause of all the scrums at the end was the Bordeaux winger being a smart arse and knocking the ball dead. I bet his forwards bought him a beer to thank him for that...naaaaaaaat!

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Canadian content October 13, 2012 3:45 am

Terrible reffing, I don't think Bordeaux played one scrum legally at the end. Felt for the ref, wouldn't want to have been in his position. But that's why he gets paid.

Fun highlights to watch, back and forth craziness. I have never seen a try like the one the Toulouse winger scored. I have seen plenty of those types of plays in American football, but never in rugby. I think the wide open risk taking in this type of game leads to these kind of entertaining plays.

Unfortunately I've seen that type of disrespect for refs all over the world, and have always been disappointed by it.

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