Harlequins welcomed five-time European Champions, Toulouse to The Stoop on Sunday in a match that saw the home side unable to match the ferocity in which the visitors brought to the stadium.
The reigning Top 14 champions, maintained their perfect record in this season’s Investec Champions Cup with a convincing 47-19 victory, leaving the hosts with much to work on defensively, heading into Christmas. The French team displayed moments of mesmerising play, proving to be a formidable challenge for Harlequins, who had previously secured an impressive victory over Racing 92 in the first round.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) December 17, 2023
Aaaah now it makes sense why Ramos was picking on Smith on the ground. Because when he has to face up to the big boys then it’s ‘thanks for coming’ pic.twitter.com/Pg5SrTnLtz
— A-P (@rugby_ap) December 18, 2023
Many would put Toulouse amongst the favourtes to once again win the competition, particularly when you consider the strength in depth that the southern French side boasts. Sitting in at fly-half, Thomas Ramos ventured away from his natural position of fullback to to cover the injured Romaine Ntamack. His ability to slide between the two positions appeared effortless as he worked efficiently with scrum half Antoine Dupont to continually unlock a misfiring Harlequins defence.
— Brett Igoe (@brettruganalyst) December 17, 2023
— Rugby on TNT Sports (@rugbyontnt) December 17, 2023
It was Ramos’ creative tug of war with opposition ten Marcus Smith that caught many peoples attention during the match, however, as the repartee between the two became feistier with each parting minute. Both players are highly thought of within their own community, but neither seemed to have much time for each other. One moment Smith was seen to be accusing Ramos of diving, whilst the next moment it was Smith taking an apparent beating from Ramos.
— Gauthier Baudin (@GauthierBaudin) December 17, 2023
It’s been the physical altercation that saw Smith pummeled to the ground that has tongues wagging following the match, with many suggesting that perhaps the French man is deserving of a ban for his actions. Seen to throw the forearm down on the England playmaker, Ramos could well face a serious ban if he is cited.
Ramos was in his face all night, literally & figuratively. He charged the conversion attempt before half time & clearly fired off a few words in Marcus’s direction when he missed. The dive in the 2nd half was ridiculous, never seen Marcus so worked up, clearly got under his skin
— Alistair Kirk (@alistairkirk92) December 17, 2023