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Toulouse player ratings: "Does this Dupont fella ever take a day off?"

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Saturday May 25, 2024

Toulouse defeated Leinster in a hugely physical match at the all singing, all dancing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon, in what could be argued to be one of the greatest European finals of all time.

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The atmosphere was beyond any other in world rugby, with Leinster and Toulouse supporters planted at opposite ends as the fireworks, drums and incredible pre-match entertainment built up what was to become he most highly anticipated European Cup final in recent memory.

The match lived up to all the hype that had built over the past few days and weeks, as the two great European sides battled it out in front of 60,000+ people.

Here’s how we rated the Toulouse players.

1. Cyril Baille – 7.5

Great hands early on, found himself tackling everything that moved for the rest of the game as Leinster dominated possession. Off at 58.

2. Peato Mauvaka – 8

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An iron shoulder stopped James Lowe in his tracks early on, which became the pre-curser to a days worth of huge thump after huge thump. He did however allow himself to get wrapped up on the back of a Toulouse rolling maul and later overthrow a lineout that almost led to a Leisnter counter. Otherwise it was a mighty impressive showing from the French international. Off at 54.

3. Dorian Aldegheri – 5

The prop gave away the penalty for Leinster’s first effort on goal, and continued throughout as he battled in the scrum with Andrew Porter – trading collapsed scrum after collapsed scrum. Off at 54.

4. Thibaud Flament – 6

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Beaten to a high ball by Jamison Gibson Park…he won’t live that one down. Other than that it was a committed performance for the rangey lock. He provided nothing fancy, but consistent hands and a solid frame.

5. Emmanuel Meafou – 8

The giant second row played around with Leinster’s defence as if they were children, flailing the ball high above their heads on more than one occasion. He used his immense size and weight to force a turnover for Kinghorn’s second shot at goal. A key cog in the brutal Toulouse machine. Off at 54.

6. Jack Willis – 9

One of the greatest flankers in the world, he was once again a scrum half’s nightmare. Today he was solid in the tackle and as always, a menace in the breakdown, causing Leinster’s attack to stutter along at a pace slower than they are used to. Top of the tackle count with 29, almost double the nearest challenger, but was guilty of conceding a couple of penalties.

7. Francois Cros – 7

Made the big tackles whenever Leinster seemed to be getting up a head of steam, as he put his body on the line in a super physical performance. Huge tackle count. Off at 68.

8. Alexandre Roumat – 6.5

Largely inconspicuous for the first 60 minutes, but felt his presence more during the latter stages thanks to his fresher legs. A big part of the later dominance by Toulouse.

9. Antoine Dupont – 9.5

Started fast and almost set up a brilliant try for Mallia in the corner. In typical Dupont fashion he appeared to have more time with the ball time than anyone else. He involved himself in everything, including an unreal turnover in the ruck after Kinghorn rushed to track back Dan Sheehan’s mighty break. Whether he was pinging 50:22’s from rucks, stepping through defences, flicking wild passes or making huge tackles, the French scrum half would not let Leinster breathe. A few of his passes were suspect when trying to play at a high pace, and he found himself responsible for a couple of lost turnovers – but he was still simply unplayable in the grand scheme of things. Inadvertently caused James Lowe to receive a yellow card during extra time.

“Does this Dupont guy ever take a day off?” – A quote from the Irish journalist next to me trying (and failing) to remain neutral.

10. Romain Ntamack – 8

A typical performance from the French ten. He broke the line early on, and continued in that vein throughout. He continually played what was in front of him as his backs caused the Leinster defence issues all day. He was, however, stepped by Leinster hooker Dan Sheehan which he won’t like seeing that on the match review.

11. Matthis Lebel – 8

Came close to scoring on the left hand side after some impressively quick hands by Kinghorn. He put in a mighty defensive shift, slamming the Leinster attack with every opportunity he had. Possibly should have used his inside man for the disallowed try, but made up for it as he finished off a brilliantly worked attack towards the end of regulation time.

12. Pita Ahki – 4

Criminally let the ball bounce on a Leinster restart. Subbed after just 22 minutes after struggling with injury for much of his game.

13. Paul Costes – 5

Extremely lucky to avoid a yellow for a no arms tackle on Caelan Doris in the first half. Looked dangerous with ball in hand, but failed to make any real impact. Off at 58.

14. Juan Cruz Mallia – 5.5

Good kick along the touchline and great recovery to catch Dupont’s flick, but no try. Threw the ball into touch comically on a Toulouse counter – other than that it was a quiet match for the winger.

15. Blair Kinghorn – 9.5

A superb 50m kick to get Toulouse on the board early doors, whilst his second showed just how calm he was in such a major occasion. His huge boot provided some much needed respite for a side under the cuff for much of the first half. He continued throughout with terrific hands on attack, and utmost commitment in defence, shown particularly when he tracked back to stop Dan Sheehan from scoring an unforgiveable length of the field effort. Interestingly moved onto the wing as Thomas Ramos arrived on the scene, leaving Kinghorn to finish the match much quieter than he started. Apart from getting boshed by James Lowe, it was a world class performance.

Key Replacements: 

22. Santiago Chocobares – 9

On at 28 in the centres, and looked imposing in both attack and defence throughout. Subject to a very late hit from Henshaw which put his body in recovery mode early into his appearance, quickly followed up by his own huge hit on Jason Jenkins which looked like it could have ended his afternoon as he walked away clutching his shoulder. Despite this, he continued for the rest of the match with a display that will greatly have impressed the Toulouse coaching team.

23. Thomas Ramos – 9

On at 58. Beaten twice under the high ball early on, but slotted a vital 70th minute kick to settle him into the match. He missed an important kick shortly into extra time, but made up for it with a brilliantly held pass as he helped to set up the attack in which Lebel scored off of. His kicking would make the difference as Toulouse pulled away in the second half of extra time.

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