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CHAMPIONS CUP (SEMI-FINALS) : TOULOUSE GETS THE BEST OF BORDEAUX-BÈGLES AND WILL SEE TWICKENHAM

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In a long undecided game, Toulouse made the difference thanks to Antoine Dupont to win against Bordeaux-Bègles (21-9) and qualify for the Champions Cup final.

Eleven years that the fans of Stade Toulousain were waiting for this. After having failed at the doors of the final during the last two editions, Ugo Mola’s players made the adage lie by coming to the end of a semi-final under tension against Bordeaux-Bègles. Christophe Urios’ players were the first to score, Matthieu Jalibert not missing the target in the 4th minute after a foul on the ground in Toulouse. But this opening score only woke up the players of Haute-Garonne. Indeed, just two minutes later, the Red and Black’s forward play worked wonders to create a gap in the Gironde defense. This benefited Maxime Médard, who managed to find Zack Holmes who then fed Matthis Lebel. The winger then forced his way past two Bordeaux defenders to score the first try of the match in the corner, which Romain Ntamack failed to convert. Both teams then tried to set up their game but without much success and it was indiscipline that kept the scoreboard moving.

JALIBERT KEPT UBB IN TOUCH
While he missed an opportunity to reduce the lead shortly after Toulouse’s try, Matthieu Jalibert did not make the same mistake twice in a row shortly after the 20th minute of play. Taking advantage of an offside position of the opponent’s defense, the number 10 of UBB gave back the lead to his team. Afterwards, the Girondins could have gone down to one knee with ten minutes of numerical inferiority following a voluntary forward by Cameron Woki, but it was not to be, Toulouse not being able to find cracks in the Bordeaux-Bègles defensive curtain. It was only after a foul in a ruck that Romain Ntamack allowed Toulouse to take the lead at halftime for two small points. While Alban Placines and Thierry Paiva had to give up their places due to injury at the beginning of the second half, Romain Ntamack kept on going, giving his team a five-point lead five minutes after the break… then eight shortly after the hour mark following a foul by Alexandre Roumat. The Girondins then tried to raise the tone to stay alive in this game.

TOULOUSE AND DUPONT CRUCIFIED BORDEAUX-BÈGLES
This only resulted in a penalty caused by a good intervention on a grouping of Jefferson Poirot. Matthieu Jalibert did not tremble to bring UBB back to within a converted try with ten minutes left to play in this semi-final. It was then that, as is often the case, Antoine Dupont came out of his box. The international scrum-half put an end to the suspense in this match in the 72nd minute. Accelerating the game through Maxime Médard and then Zack Holmes, Ugo Mola’s players were able to open a breach in Gironde’s defense. Antoine Dupont, who had just entered the game in place of Maxime Lucu, was able to score the second and winning try for Toulouse. With the energy of despair, Christophe Urios’ players tried everything to get back on track but without succeeding. Toulouse won this semi-final (21-9) and will have the opportunity to take back the record of victory in the European elite on May 22 on the Twickenham pitch in a potential Franco-French duel against La Rochelle, which hosts Leinster this Sunday in the other semi-final.

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