Four-try Gloucester produce five-star display to stun Toulouse

GLOUCESTER floored Heineken Cup heavyweights Toulouse at Kingsholm after a brilliant performance inspired by their try-hungry backs.

Full-back Jonny May led the way with a double, while England wing Charlie Sharples and Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera also crossed and fly-half Freddie Burns booted 14 points.

Four-time European champions Toulouse, though, still progress to the quarter-finals as Pool Six winners after Harlequins lost by a point against Connacht in Galway.

Wing Timoci Matanavou touched down twice for the visitors, while skipper Thierry Dusautoir scored early on and fly-half Lionel Beauxis added three conversions and a penalty.

But they were outplayed by a Gloucester team that despite already being eliminated from the quarter-final equation, blew them apart.

Young backs like May, Sharples and Burns had a field day, performing with a thrilling sense of adventure and creativity that had Toulouse’s stamp all over it.

Gloucester delivered comfortably their best performance of the season, claiming a bonus point in the process, although it was too little too late in terms of this season’s Heineken Cup following home and away defeats to Quins after losing in Toulouse.

For their part, Toulouse will limp, rather than swagger into the last eight for a 13th time, and Gloucester’s performance exposed weaknesses in their armoury under pressure.

Gloucester scorers: Tries: May 2, Qera, Sharples. Cons: Burns 4. Pens: Burns 2.

GLOUCESTER: May, Sharples, Tindall, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Simpson-Daniel, Burns, R. Lawson, Wood, S. Lawson, Harden, Hamilton, Brown, Strokosch, Qera, Narraway.

Replacements: Mills for Tindall (65), Lewis for R. Lawson (74), Murphy for Wood (71), Dawidiuk for S. Lawson (56), Knight for Harden (63), James for Brown (71), Cox for Qera (70).

Toulouse scorers: Tries: Dustautoir, Matanavou 2. Cons: Beauxis 3. Pens: Beauxis.

TOULOUSE: Poitrenaud, Matanavou, Fritz, Jauzion, Medard, Beauxis, Burgess, Steenkamp, Servat, Johnston, Maestri, Albacete, Nyanga, Dustautoir, Picamoles.

Replacements: Donguy for Poitrenaud (71), Doussain for Burgess (63), Human for Steenkamp (49), Poux for Johnston (55), Lamboley for Maestri (49), Bouilhou for Nyanga (60).

Referee: George Clancy (RU).

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