Swansea seek revenge against Toulouse
January 7, 2000
Swansea are out for revenge at St Helens tonight when they tackle unbeaten Toulouse in a crunch Heineken Cup clash.
The French side destroyed Swansea 46-3 when the sides met in November and another win in Wales will seal their passage to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
With Bath anxiously waiting for Swansea to slip up and offer a potential passage into the last eight as one of the two best runners-up, there is little margin for error for the home side.
Even a win would only set up a cross border clash with the former English champions on Tuesday, part of a spell of three matches in nine days which ends with a trip to Padova next weekend.
Swansea team manager Baden Evans is realistic about the problems facing his team: "Toulouse are an extremely talented side, and in our match over there, we were lucky to come second.
"On the day, they may have had a lucky bounce or two but there was certainly nothing lucky about the result. We simply did not turn up, and we paid the price.
"We have to win all three of our remaining games if we are to have a chance of topping the group and going through to the last eight as one of the better seeded sides.
"It is in our own hands, and we simply have to go for ten points from the pool games. That is asking a lot, but nothing else will do."
Also in Pool Two, Bath are looking to end a run of five successive defeats including the devastating Tetley's Bitter Cup reverse at the hands of Gloucester when they take on Padova.
The only English winners of the competition have gone more than five hours since scoring a try, but former England skipper Phil de Glanville returns to the bench after missing the last month with a fractured cheekbone.
However, stand-off Mike Catt is out with a shoulder injury and Ben Clarke is also missing with a hamstring strain.
On Saturday, Stade Francais host Leicester in the top match of the day in Pool One.
The French team have appointed former Italian national coach Georges Coste to replace Bernard Laporte and the new man has taken his players away to a training camp this week to prepare them for the game.
Both sides have two wins and two defeats from their four matches, with Leicester having won the previous match 30-25 at Welford Road.
"I don't think we deserved to lose at Leicester but that's in the past now," said Stade Francais' brilliant stand off Diego Dominguez.
"We know how important this game is. If we don't win it, then our Heineken Cup hopes are in ruins."
Munster will seal their passage from Pool Four into the knock-out stages if they maintain their 100% record against Saracens on Saturday, while Cardiff host Montferrand in Pool Five, knowing that victory over the French club and then at Harlequins next Saturday will see them win the pool and reach the quarter-finals. Harlequins, meanwhile, must win in Treviso to keep alive their outside chances of progressing.
Group leaders Northampton host Grenoble on Sunday, knowing that they are two wins away from the quarter-finals but Wasps will go through if they beat defending champions Ulster and Llanelli nfail to overcome Bourgoin.