Stade Toulousain qualifies for the semi-finals of the Top 14 thanks to the elusive Antoine Dupont

Stade Toulousain disposed of Stade Rochelais (33-28), Saturday June 11, in the barrage of the Top 14, in Toulouse. Ugo Mola’s players scored four tries to easily dominate the brand new European champion, thanks in particular to an irresistible Antoine Dupont. With this controlled success, the Rouge et Noir reached the semi-finals where they will face Castres Olympique on Friday 17 June.

Four weeks after their stinging elimination in the Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster (40-17), Toulouse erased doubts by beating the Maritimes. Les Rouge et Noir built their qualification around a first quarter of an hour of high quality. In the wake, too, of an untenable Antoine Dupont, in all the right moves.

The international scrum half first slipped into the La Rochelle defense after a superb offload of Mauvaka. Fifty meters and a kick later, Pierre Fouyssac flattened the first try (7th). Subsequently, Dupont did not need anyone to pack up (13th). These two flashes gave the Stadistes a fifteen-point lead, consolidating a lead never caught up by La Rochelle.

After these moments of madness, Toulouse tried to defend well. The countless handling errors from La Rochelle (18 lost balls) were partly due to the aggressive climbs of the Toulouse defenders. Secateur Rynhardt Elstadt finished the game with 23 tackles. The composure of Ugo Mola’s players also made the difference in critical moments. When the Maritimes returned to seven lengths, Juan Cruz Mallia rose in the air to pick the leather above Arthur Retière and score (62nd).

Released, the Toulouse flattened one last time by Romain Ntamack (69th). Their determination and accuracy on school game launches reminded us: Toulouse remains a benchmark. At the twilight of a grueling season plagued by doubles, the club will approach its semi-final against Castres in the shoes of the favorite.

No doubt exhausted by its European success, Stade La Rochelle did not have the weapons to overthrow the Toulouse ogre. He was barely able to bother her, on three tries scored upwind by Liebenberg (25th), Alldritt (55th) and Bourgarit (79th). Favre softened the sentence on the siren (80th), but the score remains flattering in view of the opposing domination. “We had prepared well for this match, but we didn’t play our rugby. It’s infuriating…”cursed Romain Sazy at the microphone of Canal +.

The Maritimes weren’t helped by a delicate opener from their opener, Ihaia West. The La Rochelle opener missed a first penalty against the poles (5th), and immediately sent a diagonal directly into touch. Friable, West did not weigh, nor did the young Barjon, replacing the experienced Kerr-Barlow in the scrum. On arrival, this half-hearted performance of the hinge did not help the Yellow and Black, whose hopes of a double stop at the dam.

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