Toulouse cruise past Glasgow
December 10, 2010
Toulouse centre Florian Fritz races away to score the game's opening try at Firhill
© Getty Images
Toulouse moved a significant step closer to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable 28-16 victory over Pool 6 rivals Glasgow at a bitterly cold Firhill on Friday night.
The reigning European champions were in imperious form in the first half, racking up tries through midfield duo Florian Fritz and Yannick Jauzion and then, just before the break, winger Cedric Heymans.
Federico Aramburu's touchdown and 11 points from the boot of fly-half Ruaridh Jackson meant that, at 25-16 down, the Warriors were still in contention at the interval. However, they failed to register a single score in the second period, allowing Toulouse, who added nothing more than a penalty from David Skrela after the restart, to cruise to victory.
Still, although they came away from frosty Firhill with a win, cup holders Toulouse were kicking themselves that they could not grab a second-half touchdown to clinch a bonus point, while Glasgow were left to to rue the fact that they left a big effort far, far too late.
Glasgow got the perfect start when Jackson goaled a first-minute penalty after David Skrela had fumbled his first pass. Jackson had a chance to extend the lead with a penalty from halfway three minutes later but missed, and Toulouse made them pay in the seventh minute. Byron Kelleher took a quick tap penalty, the Glasgow defence was out of position and Jauzion put Fritz over for the opening try which Skrela converted.
Jackson missed with his third penalty but made amends when he pulled the margin back to one point with a 40-metre shot after 11 minutes.
With almost a total domination of possession, Toulouse had only themselves to blame as fumbles in the Glasgow red zone denied them a try and it took Skrela's second penalty to take the score to 10-6. Toulouse now turned the screw and after Kelleher, Heymans and William Servat were stopped short, Glasgow ran out of tacklers as Jauzion went over for the visitors' second try.
Two minutes later, Glasgow finally put an attack together and from a sparkling counter-attack, Max Evans' chip eluded Vincent Clerc for Aramburu to grab the try and with Jackson slotting the conversion, Glasgow were only four points adrift having had around 10% of the possession.
A Skrela penalty on the half hour stretched the Toulouse lead and with their scrum dominating they only had to cut out the unforced errors to put Glasgow to the sword, and that looked to be about to happen as they ran in try number three.
When Kelleher robbed Richie Vernon at the base of a retreating Glasgow scrum the home defence was caught out by a Fritz chip which let Max Medard put Heymans in for an unconverted try, but it was Glasgow who finished the half as they had begun, with a Jackson penalty.
The second half was remarkable in that there was only one score, a Skrela penalty in the 58th minute and it showed that once Glasgow had ceased to be in awe of their illustrious opponents they could play a bit of rugby as a raft of unforced errors haunted the Toulouse backs.
Once Glasgow got a bit of momentum into their game they showed that with the two Richies, Gray and Vernon, and Rob Hurley following the lead of John Barclay, they could restrict Toulouse to a kicking game which was at times as aimless as it was fruitless.
It was only in the final quarter, though, that Glasgow started to get the sort of possession which was needed to threaten the Toulouse defence but they did not have the cutting edge outside to cause a lot of damage.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points