Toulouse knock out Stade Francais Paris

Toulouse hammered Stade Francais Paris by 42 points to 16 at Stade Municipal, Toulouse in their Heineken Cup Quarter final which secured them a place in the Heineken Cup Semi-finals.


Toulouse trailed Stade Francais at the break by 13 points to 16 but in the second half Toulouse turned on the power and pulled away.


A superb kicking performance by former first choice France international fly-half David Skrela contributed 27 points while Toulouse also outscored their French rivals three tries to one to set up a semi-final against holders Leinster.


The other semi-final on the first weekend of May will also be a Franco-Irish affair as 2006 finalists Biarritz aim for revenge against the side that beat them in that final, two-time winners Munster.


Toulouse coach Guy Noves said that despite the margin of victory he was not totally satisfied with the performance.


“It was difficult, because we started badly,” said the 56-year-old, who during his 17-year reign has guided the side to three European Cups and seven domestic titles.


“This team can play better and they know that.”


Noves said that the French giants would not be favourites against Leinster even though they will be at home.


“Leinster are European champions, they are a magical side with stunning centres (Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy),” he said.


“One has to remember they have beaten us here in Toulouse before. We shipped 40 points that day (a 2006 quarter-final).


“For once, one can say that we are not favourites for a semi-final and we must prepare for it in that role.”


Stade Francais coach Jacques Delmas, who is due to leave at the end of the season and be replaced by Leinster coach Michael Cheika, said there were few positives to be taken out of the match.


“It is difficult to take your head out of the water when one concedes over 40 points,” said Delmas, who replaced Australian Ewen MacKenzie earlier in the campaign.


“We played pretty well in the first-half but failed to turn our domination into points.”


Toulouse trailed Stade until the dying minute of the first-half when Yannick Jauzion burst over the line to touch down and send the hosts in 13-10 ahead at the break.


Stade had deservedly taken the lead in the 19th minute when captain Rodrigo Roncero scored a try.


The hooker sold a dummy pass and glided past the Toulouse defence to put them 5-0 up – Lionel Beauxis converted from in front of the posts.


Skrela landed a penalty three minutes later but Beauxis restored the seven point advantage soon afterwards.


Skrela made it 10-6 with another penalty eight minutes from half-time before Jauzion’s intervention gave them the lead for the first time.


Both Skrela and Beauxis added two penalties apiece in the first 10 minutes of the second-half to leave the hosts with a three-point advantage as the final half hour approached.


Toulouse, though, deservedly put some distance between themselves and their opponents on the hour mark when Jauzion set up their second try for Patricio Albacete in a neat passing movement from inside the Stade 22.


Skrela added the conversion for a 26-16 lead.


Skrela, who missed just one attempt at goal all match, ended any hopes of a Stade victory with a penalty 13 minutes from time, and then converted from wide out on the left after Cedric Heymans

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