Champions Cup: Toulouse v Leinster

Leo Cullen's men go in search of a second win in Pool 1 against familiar opponents

Ruaidhrí Croke Sun, Oct 21
LIVE: Champions Cup: Toulouse v Leinster

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  • 14:13

    Hello, good afternoon and welcome. Leinster are the final Irish province in Champions Cup action this weekend as they face up to Toulouse in the south of France. This is as high-profile a match as it gets in northern hemisphere rugby with the two sides boasting four titles each and a wealth of star quality. I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be with you for the afternoon as Leo Cullen's side look to make it two wins from two in Pool 1.

    Team news on the way!

  • 14:18

    So, for Leinster Jordan Larmour will start at fullback in the Stade Ernest Wallon while Joe Tomane comes into the team for his first European game with the province and last week’s man of the match James Lowe continues in the number 11 jersey.

    Toulouse got their campaign off to a narrow 22-20 win over Bath last weekend - with plenty of thanks going to the poorly timed showboating of Freddy Burns - and will come into this game feeling they have a point to prove with many saying their European 'aristocracy' tag has worn off.

    TOULOUSE: T Ramos; C Kolbe, S Guitoune, R Ntamack, M Médard; Z Holmes, S Bézy; C Castets, J Marchand (capt), C Faumuina, F Verhaeghe, J Tekori, R Elstadt, A Placines, S Tolofua.

    Replacements: L Ghiraldini, D Faimafiliotama’ita’i Ainuu, M Van Dyk, P Gayraud, L Madaule, YHuget, A Dupont, A Bonneval.

    LEINSTER: J Larmour; J Tomane, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (captain), L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong; D Toner, J Ryan, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

    Replacements: J Tracy, J McGrath, A Porter, S Fardy, S O’Brien, N McCarthy, R Byrne, R O’Loughlin.

    Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).

  • 14:34
  • 14:45

    Our man Gerry Thornley is in situ in Toulouse today and writes that, while Toulouse are back aat the top table after their absence last year, the aura has worn off somewhat from the days of dominance with their last Champions Cup title coming all the way back in 2010.

    "On their return last week, Freddy Burns handed Toulouse their get-out-of-jail card, with a little help from the wily Maxime Medard’s refusal to accept a seeming lost cause, and so home crowd and team alike will be buoyed as well as straining at the leash in welcoming the continent’s most prized scalp."

    Toulouse are back but the aristocratic aura is gone

  • 15:02

    It's starting to fill up now at the Stade Ernest Wallon as kick-off ticks ever closer.

    When you take a step back and look at the fact that Leinster are the favourites to beat Toulouse on their home patch you see just how far the Irish province have come in recent years.

    It is also an indicator of how far the French side have fallen.

    Gerry Thornley takes a closer look with his match preview.

    Leinster now holding the whiphand as masters face off

  • 15:09

    Just five minutes to go until kick-off and the teams are in the tunnel.

    Can Leinster lay down a serious marker by beating Toulouse on their home turf? We're about to find out.

  • 15:10
  • 15:15
    1 min: We're underway in Toulouse!  (Toulouse 0 Leinster 0)
  • 15:17
    2 mins: Zack Holmes kick off lands in the hands of James Lowe. After he was taken down Luke Mcgrath kicked high but Toulouse were able to take back possession and win a penalty after Lowe tackled Cheslin Kolbe in the air. Thomas Ramos will kick for goal.  (Toulouse 0 Leinster 0)
  • 15:18

    3 mins: And it's there.

    Toulouse get the first scores on the board.  (Toulouse 3 Leinster 0)

  • 15:20

    4 mins: A dodgy pass from Zack Holmes along his tryline following Sexton's kick-off very nearly allows Leinster to intercept but the home side get away with it. They look to build from the back with some tidy passing but are eventually forced to kick long.

    Leinster get the lineout which looks to be in the hands of James Ryan but it's plucked from him and Toulouse regain possession.  (Toulouse 3 Leinster 0)

  • 15:22

    6 mins: It's been a lightning quick start from the home side. A quick turnover inside the Leinster 22 gave Toulouse the chance to attack the line. in the end it breaks down but they already had the advantage and will now get the penalty.

    Ramos will again kick for goal.  (Toulouse 3 Leinster 0)

  • 15:23

    7 mins: And again he nails it.

    This has been some start from the home side and it seems to have caught Leinster off guard somewhat.  (Toulouse 6 Leinster 0)

  • 15:25
    9 mins: The intensity of this game so far has been something else and it's making it extremely difficult for either side to build fluid attacks. Toulouse again have it back inside their own half and they opt to kick long. Tomane catches and feeds Larmour but he's brought down and the ball is fumbled which gives Toulouse a scrum on halfway. Leinster have a real game on their hands here.  (Toulouse 6 Leinster 0)
  • 15:27

    11 mins: Magnificent running from Cheslin Kolbe!

    He received it right from the scru, sidestepped and burst through the Leinster line right up to the 22. He's eventually brought down but Toulouse are in a good position now with ball in hand.  (Toulouse 6 Leinster 0)

  • 15:27

    12 mins: But Ramos knocks it forward.

    That's a relief for Leinster and will give them a moment to catch breath. They have a scrum on their 22.  (Toulouse 6 Leinster 0)

  • 15:29



  • 15:32

    16 mins: Wow, that is some serious running rugby from Toulouse.

    McGrath looked to run it from the Leinster scrum and did so well but eventually got taken down. He found Henshaw with a pass but he was then ruthlessly dispossesed by Julien Marchand.  

    Marchand burst through the Leinster line and had the try in his sights but was taken down. However, a quick recycle and a long pass out to Médard on the wing allowed him to burst over the line for the first try of the game.

    Ramos misses the conversion.

    What a start from Toulouse.  (Toulouse 11 Leinster 0)

  • 15:37

    20 mins: Toulouse extend their lead!

    Another penalty from Ramos, which came as a result of an incident that saw Josh van der Flier go off for a HIA, splits the posts and puts the home side further ahead.

    Leinster have a serious amount of work on their hands now.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 0)

  • 15:39

    22 mins: Joe Tomane bursts away for Leinster and has the line in his sights but he's brought down.

    However, the visitors do get their first penalty of the game out of it. Sexton opts to go for goal and does so successfully.

    Leinster are off the mark.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 3)

  • 15:43

    25 mins: Bit of a delay there due to some handbags between James Lowe and Selevasio Tolofua.

    Once that's all sorted Toulouse can take the lineout in their half. They work it well across the pitch but the kick is then caught by Larmour and Leinster can look to build an attack.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 3)

  • 15:46
    26 mins: Leinster get the put-in to the scrum in their own half and again look to run with Henshaw. He gets into the Toulouse half and it's recylced. This is better from Leinster as they work their way up and eventually they win the penalty after Toulouse strayed offside. Sexton will kick for goal but it's a long way out on an angle.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 3)
  • 15:48

    27 mins: And it's there.

    What a kick from Sexton. The gap is cut to eight points and Leinster are right back in this.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 6)

  • 15:50
    31 mins: This pitch is really cutting up now and it's making it tougher and tougher to run the ball. Leinster are certainly in the ascendancy but Toulouse are holding strong. Leinster get the penalty inside their own half after a high tackle and Sexton kicks to touch.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 6)
  • 15:52
    33 mins: Leinster, with ball in hand, look to build an attack again on halfway. They're building patiently but Toulouse are defending well so far.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 6)
  • 15:53



  • 15:55

    36 mins: A brilliant attack from Leinster brings about their first try of the day. It was Sexton who slipped it to Conan who then broke through the line and caused havoc in the Toulouse defence before slipping a lovely offload to O'Brien right on the line.

    Sexton converts despite the jeers of the home crowd and we have a one point game.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 13)

  • 15:57

    38 mins: Van der Flier has failed that HIA so will remain off the pitch with O'Brien on in his place.  

    Toulouse now have ball in hand on the Leinster 22.  (Toulouse 14 Leinster 13)

  • 15:58



  • 16:01

    40 mins: Well, it didn't take Toulouse long to answer back!

    Some beautiful footwork from  Tolofua left two Leinster defenders for dead before he offloaded to Guitone to scamper over.

    Ramos converts and Toulouse lead by nine going into break! (Toulouse 21 Leinster 13)

  • 16:01
  • 16:03

    Well, Leinster certainly have a game on their hands here.

    Toulouse started like a house on fire and had Leinster rattled. That intensity was never going to continue and the patient visitors got their way back into the game with two Sexton penalties and a lovely O'Brien try.

    However, Toulouse regained the initiative with that try and conversion right on half time.

    What a second half we have in store.

  • 16:15
    41 mins: We're back underway in Toulouse!  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 13)
  • 16:16
    42 mins: Sexton's kick-off finds Leinster hands and they can build an attack but Marchand gets in with a brilliant steal to win the penalty which Toulouse kick long.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 13)
  • 16:18
    44 mins: Leinster steal the lineout and attack again but, again, it's stolen from them. Toulouse certainly have their visitors rattled today and it's showing.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 13)
  • 16:20
    46 mins: if there's one thing Leinster won't do it's give up. They're continuing to battle hard here and they have a lineout just five metres short of the tryline...  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 13)
  • 16:21



  • 16:23

    49 mins: Super stuff from Leinster. They worked the lineout perfectly and drove for the line. They were repelled three times by the solid Toulouse defence but eventually Ryan was able to pick and drive through the wall and over the line.  

    Sexton converts and we have a one point game again!  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 20)

  • 16:25

    50 mins: So close for Toulouse!

    Every time Leinster have hit back today the home side have responded and they very nearly did so again just now.

    A beautiful kick-through from Ramos looked like it had set the onrushing Kolbe up to touch down but James Lowe managed to sprint back and get in just in time to slap it away!

    It's adjudged to have come off the head of Kolbe in the end and it will be a 22. That was close.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 20)

  • 16:28

    51 mins: A rare slip from Toulouse on halfway sees the ball fumbled and Henshaw can steal for Leinster. He kicks through and it bounces and bobbles all the way to the corner before rolling out of play. Toulouse get the lineout five metres short of their tryline and they work it well to clear.

    Leinster lineout on the Toulouse 22.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 20)

  • 16:29



  • 16:31

    54 mins: Leinster take the lead for the first time!

    From the lineout it was Cronin who made the initial dart forward and gained a lot of ground. Leinster then moved it back across from left to right before Cronin was fed again just short of the posts and he burst through two tackles to touch down.

    Sexton converts and Leinster lead by six.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)

  • 16:34
    57 mins: Toulouse will not lie down and they very nearly get in behind again with Kolbe on the right wing but Henshaw makes a superb covering tackle. Leinster win the penalty and Sexton kicks for touch.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)
  • 16:35
    58 mins: A chip over the top on the left win doesn't work for Ruddock and concedes possession back to Toulouse who can attack. However, a knock on right on halfway costs them and Leinster get the penalty.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)
  • 16:39
    60 mins: Toulouse get it back and drive forward again. They look to have broken the Leinster line but another knock-on - this time from Ramos - costs them again. Leinster scrum inside their own 22.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)
  • 16:41

    63 mins: The pressure continues to build. A burst in behind from Médard almost reaps the rewards but a trio of Leinster players are able to bundle him out of play.  

    Toulouse, however, keep coming and have a lineout inside the Leinster half now.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)

  • 16:43

    65 mins: How many chances have Toulouse squandered now?!

    Once again they break the line but once again it's spilled! This time Kolbe is the culprit and Leinster get away with one. Sexton can kick long to touch and relieve the pressure.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)

  • 16:46
    68 mins: This has been a war of attrition for Leinster now as Toulouse continue to pile forward. Excellent work from O'Brien disrupts the latest attack and allows Leinster another breather with a lineout on halfway.  (Toulouse 21 Leinster 27)
  • 16:48



  • 16:49

    71 mins: What a breakaway!

    Leinster were practically on the Toulouse 22 and looking dangerous but the French side managed to intercept a stray pass and break with Placines who passed off to his left and eventually it found its way to Médard who dived over in the corner.  

    Toulouse have been excellent the whole way through and they deserve that.

    Ramos then converts and Toulouse now lead by one with nine minutes left!  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)

  • 16:51

    73 mins: And they've almost done it again!

    Anorther interception very nearly reaps another Toulouse try but, as it is, they have to settle for a penalty after Leinster got back.  

    And Leinster get another reprieve as Ramos' kick flies right and wide.  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)

  • 16:53

    74 mins: Leinster aren't helping themselves here either as a clearing kick from Sexton stays in play and allows Toulouse to come forward again.

    However, Leinster win the penalty just five yards short of their tryline and Leinster can get out. Sexton kicks to touch just short of halfway.  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)

  • 16:55
    76 mins: Toulouse work the lineout well and eventually reap a penalty from it. It's within range for Ramos but he opts to kick to touch just short of the Leinster tryline. Big call, this.  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)
  • 16:57
    77 mins: Toulouse create the maul from the lineout but Leinster, and Toner in particular, do magnificently well to turn it over. Sexton kicks long to touch.  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)
  • 16:58

    79 mins: But Toulouse get it back!

    They're going through the phases right on halfway. Can Leinster force a penalty to give Sexton the chance?  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)

  • 16:59

    80 mins: Toulouse still have ball in hand with 30 seconds to go!  (Toulouse 28 Leinster 27)

  • 17:00
  • 17:03

    Well, what a game that was.

    From the very first whistle it was 100 miles an hour, frantic running rugby.

    Toulouse squandered so many chances in the second half but eventually took one with an interception and breakaway to allow Médard go over in the corner.

    That, and Ramos' conversion, eventually proved the winner as the home side held firm.

    It's Leinster's first Champions Cup loss in 11 games and puts Toulouse top of Pool 1.

  • 17:38

    That's it from me for today. Thanks for reading, Gerry Thornley's report from Toulouse is available below, bye!

    Leinster run into a red wall as winning streak falls to Toulouse