Toulouse force past Stade Francais - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Toulouse force past Stade Francais

30/03/2009 11:31:17 AM Comments (0)

Toulouse beat former Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie's Stade Francais 15-11 in a top-of-the-table French Top 14 clash on Sunday night to retain top spot in the title race.

Toulouse, who beat Stade 26-13 in Paris in the first fixture between the sides this season, have now taken a significant step in retaining their national title.

Stade Francais's Mathieu Bastareaud scored the only try of the match late in the game to earn his side a defensive bonus point, but it had been Toulouse's qualities going forward which won them the match.

Stade started brightly and fly-half Lionel Beauxis opened the scoring with a drop goal on just two minutes. Toulouse hit back with waves of attacking moves and levelled the scores in the seventh minute through a Frederic Michalak penalty after Argentine Agustin Pichot had been penalised.

At that point, Toulouse were omnipresent in Stade's side of the pitch, and in a move involving Thierry Dusautoir and Fabien Pelous, the ball went out to Florian Fritz who got an 18th minute drop goal.

The Parisians were stung into action and, inspired by Italy's Sergio Parisse, tried several sorties into Toulouse's 22 though their defence was up to the task.

Their attacking mentally rewarded Stade in the 28th minute when Beauxis scored a penalty after an offside decision against Toulouse.

The tense occasion brought frayed nerves to some players and there was a clash between South African back row Shaun Sowerby and Bastareaud, who got a yellow card just before the half-time break.

Michalak had missed a number of penalties, although three were from more than 50 metres, yet managed to punish a Paris high tackle in the 44th minute with a penalty, and kicked over another three points in the 65th minute.

Cedric Heymans scored another penalty for Toulouse, after being the victim of a high tackle, with Beauxis having previously missed an attempt for Stade.

The visitors threw everything forward in the closing minutes, with Camara, who came in the 74th minute, and Bastareaud taking centre stage.

In the final attack of the game, French international Bastareaud touched down to give McKenzie's men the extra, defensive bonus point just before the end of the match.

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