Cardiff coach tips Toulouse for title

CARDIFF BLUES coach Dai Young believes Toulouse can go all the way to a fourth Heineken Cup title after his side were taken apart 41-17 at Le Stadium.

Tries from Maxime Medard, Maleli Kunavore, Vincent Clerc and Jean Bouilhou and 18 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Jean-Baptise Elissalde was too much for Cardiff Blues who responded through Jason Spice and Ben Blair.

Toulouse will now face London Irish at Twickenham later this month and while Young felt the scoreline was rough justice, he has tipped the French giants to fight for the European title once more.

Young said: “I don’t think the result reflected the game but it did show that we were second best.

“We were in the game for more than an hour but to be honest, the physical intensity and tempo they brought to the game really told in the final 20 minutes.

“We started to tire when they stepped up and we can have few complaints about the result. I think we could have lost to the eventual champions.

“For anyone doubting Toulouse, they proved they are still a force in Europe with that performance. They had control, they were clinical and kept the scoreboard ticking over. They have a great balance between their forwards and backs.”

It was a welcome tonic for Toulouse coach Guy Noves who spent Friday night in hospital with concussion after he was knocked off his bicycle in a collision with a car in the city.

Noves said: “I’m very proud of the players and it’s great to come off the pitch at the end of a game, feeling that we played a game we can be proud of.

“Although we are very pleased with the result, this is European rugby and it’s all or nothing. We have a semi-final to prepare for and if we lose that, then we finish the season with nothing.

“The players really stepped up from our French Championship game against Biarritz last week and we played some very good rugby.

“Coaches Yannick Bru and Philippe Rouge-Thomas have done enormous amounts of work with the pack and if we hadn’t benefited from the work they have done on the scrum, we would have spent most of the time on the back foot.”

Toulouse scorers: Tries: Medard, Kunavore, Clerc, Bouihlou. Cons: Elissalde 3. Pens: Elissalde 3. Drop Goals: Elissalde, Heymans.

TOULOUSE: Heymans, Clerc, Kunavore, Jauzion, Medard, Elissalde, Kelleher, Human, Servat, Perugini, Pelous, Albacete, Nyanga, Dusatoir, Sowerby. Replacements: Courrent for Elissalde (73), Bouihlou for Nyanga (57).

Cardiff Blues scorers: Tries: Spice, Blair. Cons: Blair 2. Pens: Blair.

CARDIFF BLUES: Blair, J. Roberts, Shanklin, G. Thomas, James, Flanagan, Spice, Jenkins, G. Williams, Filise, D. Jones, Tito, Molitika, M. Williams, Rush.

Replacements: Morgan for Tito (52). Not Used: Yapp, R. Thomas, White, Rees, N. Robinson, J. Robinson.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).

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