Jan 12, 2014
Toulouse vs Saracens - Report
Seven penalties from fly half Jean-Marc Doussain earned Toulouse a 21-11 victory at the Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday.
Despite Chris Ashton’s first half try that briefly gave the visitors the lead, Toulouse relied on the goalkicking of Doussain to win the game and take control of Pool 3 in the Heineken Cup.
The results means that the French side now lead the pool by four points with Saracens entertaining Connacht in the final round of matches next weekend and Toulouse travelling to Italy to face Zebre.
If the visitors were in any doubt as to the size of the challenge at the Stade Ernest Wallon they were given a reminder with just seconds of the game starting when Jean-Marc Doussain kicked his side into the lead.
But the visitors responded in some style. Having already threatened the Toulouse line, great work from the packed pulled in the home defence and Chris Ashton was able to use the space and dive in at the corner.
With the ball in their hands, the visitors looked dangerous but they just didn’t have enough ball in the opening period and three times they had to scramble at their ferocious best in defence to keep the home side at bay.
Doussain kicked another penalty to give his side the lead once more before Farrell responded. But as the half wore on Doussain added a further two kicks to give Toulouse a 12-8 advantage at the break in this Pool 3 clash.
Buoyed by a vociferous home crowd, Toulouse added another penalty on 50 minutes when again, it took a massive defensive effort to hold the wave of red and black shirts.
The home side kept attacking and Doussain saw a drop goal drift wide after the onrushing Farrell put him under pressure while a long range penalty drifted wide of the posts on the hour.
But the French playmaker made no mistake when he struck another three points from a penalty that also saw Mako Vunipola sent to the sin bin for handling on the ground.
With just under 10 minutes to go in the game, Sarries finally got their hands on the ball and a series of pick and gos from the visitors forced a penalty and Farrell’s kick brought the difference back to within seven points.
However, with just four minutes left on the clock, more pressure from the home side’s powerful pack forced another penalty and Doussain’s kick denied Saracens a bonus point.