There will be no Franco-French final in the European Rugby Cup. Neither doubled for the Toulouse Stadium. The Rouge et Noir were eliminated on Saturday May 14 by the Irish from Leinster in the semi-finals of the competition (40-17) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
After digging deep into their physical and mental resources to overcome Munster on penalties last week in the quarterfinals, already in Dublin, the reigning European and French champions did not have the weapons to compete. . The first try of the match, scored by Antoine Dupont after a solo sprint of 80 meters after countering a game at the foot of his vis-à-vis, was only a sham (3 -7, 7th minute).
Very quickly, the Toulouse defense did not resist the onslaught of the Irish blue waves. The attempts of James Lowe (13-7, 15th) and Josh van der Flier, after a breakthrough by Johnny Sexton (20-7, 20th) – named man of the match – were almost a lesser evil for the men of Ugo Mola .
Trailing 23-10 at halftime, the Toulouse failed to get back into the game, conceding a second try to James Lowe just ten minutes after returning from the locker room (30-10, 50th). Selevasio Tolofua’s try, fifteen minutes later, did not even maintain a semblance of suspense (30-17, 66th). Hugo Keenan will carry the last blow to the Rouge et Noir (40-17, 79th).
A complicated European campaign
The defending champion had so far managed to overcome the many blows of fate that have occurred this season along his European route. Starting with the cancellation last winter, due to Covid-19, of two of his four group matches, including one at home against Cardiff, lost on the green carpet when he considered himself able and in right to dispute it.
Furious against the organizers of the competition, the president of Toulouse, Didier Lacroix, then said that his team, if it were to qualify despite everything in the final phase, would be very difficult to stop. But Leinster did it brilliantly.
The other semi-final of the European Cup will oppose, on Sunday, the Ile-de-France residents of Racing 92 at the Stade Rochelais, at the Bollaert-Delelis stadium in Lens at 4 p.m. The final will take place on May 28 at the Stade-Vélodrome in Marseille. The Irish will then aim for the record of five continental titles.