06/17/22 – 23:48 – Thank you
Thank you all for following us for this live commentary of the first semi-final of the Top 14 between Castres and Toulouse. See you tomorrow for the second between MHR and UBB.
Tomb of the champion of France, Castres will play the final of the Top 14 next week at the Stade de France. It will be against Montpellier or Union Bordeaux-Bègles, who will play the other semi-final tomorrow, still in Nice.
On the edge of the sidelines, in front of the bench, Botitu is no longer in place, his face in his hands, his eyes worried. On the lawn, Toulouse has a last ammunition to try to carry out the hold up while the siren has sounded. Then at impact, Flament releases the ball. The entire Tarn bench explodes, like manager Broncan, hysterical, jumping everywhere. After a stifling semi-final, Castres won its bet and overcame Toulouse to find the final of the Top 14, four years after its surprise title.
However, we did not give much of the skin of the leader of the regular season when after 20 minutes, he stuck out his tongue, bloodless in the face of the Toulouse waves. Indeed, it didn’t take four minutes for the French champions to shatter the Tarn defense. After a first breakthrough stopped at 5 meters, Lebel again tore the white curtain for a victorious ride. In the process, Ramos made it 10-0 for a perfect start. Toulouse had been off a rival who seemed to lack pace. Then everything changed. After the cool break, Castres changed its face and woke up putting commitment to conquest. Heckled, Ugo Mola’s men suffered the impact and multiplied the faults. Rory Arnold first then Marchand before the break collected a yellow. For his part, Urdapilleta feasted on the ammunition offered to bring his people back into the game. At the break, a point separated the two rivals.
The second period would give rise to a breathless crossover where everyone went blow for blow. Castres lit the first fuse by Arata, solid to tear himself away from the grip of Baille and give the advantage to the CO for the first time of the evening. Toulouse was on the ropes. This was the moment chosen by Ntamack to get out of his box. Following a percussion from Ramos, the opener rushed between Combezou and Palis before lengthening his stride for a victorious race of 30 meters. The back missed the transformation, leaving the controls to Castres before catching up on the hour mark. Castres did not panic and continued his undermining work with the contribution of his replacements. Then on a happy 50-22, Dumora urged Urdapilleta to play in the closed rather than attempt the drop. The opener hit low to the ground, Nakosi took the ball and sent the back to try to knock out Toulouse. Crushed by the Tarn forwards, the champions of France, like a Dupont muzzled as rarely, abandoned their title on the lawn of Nice. For its part, the CO confirms its exceptional end to the season by chaining a 6th success in a row and giving itself the right to continue dreaming of the title. See you in a week at the Stade de France.
“We knew that in the first 20 minutes, Toulouse was going to want to set the pace. We hadn’t played last week and they had played a great match. We let the storm pass and we were able to accelerate. In Castres, we like to thwart the predictions”rejoiced on Canal + Julien Dumora, author of the last test of the CO.
Castres won a second success in a row against Toulouse. This has not happened to the Tarn club since 2018. Between 2017 and 2018, the CO had even chained 5 rank victories against its Toulouse rival.
“We always stayed calm. (At the start of the match) We made stupid mistakes but then we knew how to react and we finished the first half well. We knew we could win. We then dominated. This year , we trust everyone and we knew that the bench would win us the game and he did.”, explained Benjamin Urdapilleta, voted best player of the match; The Argentinian CO scorer underlined at the microphone of Canal + the strength of character of the Tarn group and which has developed throughout the season.
“We showed a lot of indiscipline in this match and our two yellow cards hurt. We knew that Castres were a big team and wanted to take us in front. They did it well tonight. We were able to respond on a few phases but we did not abuse the balls carried enough. tonight, they showed a lot of realism. Urda (pilleta) had a great game. In the end, we could have gone for the victory. It’s a shame but we came across a big team from Castres who deserve”, lucidly regretted Anthony Jelonch. the third row insisted on the indiscipline of his team, fatal at this level of the competition.
After an indecisive and exciting semi-final, Castres brought down Toulouse and qualified for the final of the Top 14 (24-18). Taken by the throat during the first 20 minutes, the Castres were able to get up and establish a fight at all times to overthrow the champion in a second act in the form of a panting cross chase.
THEY DID IT ! ???? The CO qualifies for the FINAL after beating Stade Toulousain in half 24 to 18!
What a match from our players, and what a fight, BRAVO!
See you in Paris #TeamCO ????#COST #TeamCO #All together #NICE2022 pic.twitter.com/zPuLzuMpCE
– Castres Olympique (@CastresRugby) June 17, 2022
In contact, Flmaent releases the ball and makes the Castres bench explode with joy. Toulouse is eliminated.
The Toulousains recovered the short dismissal. They have one last chance to win on the wire.
Shifted to the left, Urdapilleta did not roll up his ball enough and saw it pass to the left of the posts. Castres remains within reach of a converted try from Toulouse with two minutes left to play (24-18).
After a good touchdown and a fixation in the axis of the posts, Fernandez leaves in the closed on the left. He gives to Urdapilleta who pats the back at ground level. Nakosi is on reception, resists Germain to give Dumora who scores the try to give CO 6 points ahead (24-18).
– Castres Olympique (@CastresRugby) June 17, 2022
Babillot comes to scratch the ball in the arms of Dupont. Behind, Urdapilleta is lucky with the rebounds and manages to find a touch in the 22 meters Toulouse. 50-22 for the CO who will have the throw with the entry of Ngauamo. Return also of Ben Nicholas in place of Babillot.
Slightly shifted to the right, 45 meters away, Ramos forces with his right foot but crosses his attempt too much which passes to the left of the Castres posts. Second failure for the Toulouse striker and Castres remains in front (19-18).