Noves feared title would 'slip away'
June 5, 2011
David Skrela endured a high-profile off-day in the Top 14 final © Getty Images
Guy Noves has admitted that he feared the Top 14 title would 'slip away' from Toulouse after fly-half David Skrela's kicking nightmare gave Montpellier hope of a famous upset in Saturday's Stade de France finale.
Le Rouge et Noir were made to fight for every one of their 15 points by a Montpellier side emboldened by a historic play-off march, with Skrela's wayward boot contributing to some nervous moments for the now 18-times champions.
Montpellier scored the only try of the game, through winger Timoci Nagusa, but were eventually overrun as two late penalties from Nicolas Bezy, Skrela's replacement, rewarded their territorial dominance.
"You have to make your superiority count," Noves said. "When David was missing his kicks I said to myself 'it's just not possible' - it was complicated. I thought at one stage it might slip away. Finally we made our domination count."
Montpellier boss Fabien Galthie conceded that his side struggled to impose themselves on the game and that Toulouse were worthy winners.
"In the end we had difficulty keeping the ball and directing the game. Well done Toulouse, they were better than us," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
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