Michalak hero for Toulouse

Stade Francais 12 Toulouse 18 (aet)

It was a historic third European triumph for last season’s beaten finalists, although the game was bitterly disappointing as a spectacle, as both sides struggled to come to terms with the pressure of the occasion.

Fly-half Frederic Michalak was the hero for Toulouse, kicking a penalty in the last minute of normal time to level the scores, before adding another penalty and a dropped goal in extra-time for good measure.

Toulouse dominated the early forward exchanges, but they were unable to turn their possession into points.

Stade scored the first points of the game, with penalties in the 10th and 14th minutes from stand-off David Skrela - who was otherwise struggling with his kicking game.

Toulouse replied through the boot of Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, before Skrela kicked his third penalty of the day.

Elissalde narrowed the gap to three points in the 34th minute after Stade Francais were penalised at the breakdown by referee Chris White.

Seconds before the half-time break Toulouse were again penalised at the ruck and Skrela punished them with a fine touchline effort to make the score 12-6 to Stade at the break.

The Toulouse cause took a heavy blow both physically and psychologically when their captain Fabien Pelous had to be helped from the field minutes after the break with an apparently nasty leg injury.

Toulouse refused to be bowed however, and Elissalde reduced the deficit to just three points after breaks by Yannick Jauzion and Vincent Clerc set up good field position, only for Stade to kill the ball yet again at the breakdown.

With one minute of normal time remaining Finau Maka made a storming run deep into the Stade 22 and set up a superb try scoring opportunity. However, in keeping with the rest of the game, Stade encroached at the ruck and conceded a penalty.

Michalak stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty from in front of the posts to send the game into extra time.

Toulouse were quickly into their stride in extra time with another Michalak strike. The first period of extra time ended with them 15-12 in front.

Toulouse struck early in the second period, and again it was that man Michalak. The Toulouse forwards moved the ball up the field allowing Michalak to drop deep into the pocket and drop a sublime goal from 35 metres.

STADE FRANCAIS: Henandez, Arias, Glas, Liebenberg, Dominici, Skrela, Pichot, Roncero, Blin, De Villiers, Auradou, James, M. Bergamasco, Martin, Sowerby.

Replacements: Filol for Pichot (83), Kayser for Blin (56), Marconnet for De Villiers (50), Brouzet for James (55), Rabadan for Martin (65).

TOULOUSE: Poitrenaud, Clerc, Jauzion, Fritz, Thomas, Michalak, Elissalde, Poux, Servat, Hassanein, Pelous, Millochlusky, Brennan, F. Maka, Labit.

Replacements: Heymans for Clerc (65), Dubois for Elissalde (78), Human for Poux (50), Bru for Servat (65), Bouihlou for Pelous (44), Gerard for Millochlusky (78), I. Maka for Labit (65).

Ref: Chris White (RFU).

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