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Gloucester shock Toulouse in Heineken Cup

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Article Published: Saturday 21 January 2012

Gloucester caused one of the upsets of the season when they beat former Heineken Cup champions Toulouse in a 34-24 Pool 6 victory at Kingsholm on Friday evening.

Gloucester and Toulouse were level on 24 all with ten minutes remaining before Freddie Burns kicked a penalty to edge the Cherry and Whites ahead.

Former England back James Simpson-Daniel then created a break for the flyer Jonny May who raced in a late try and put the match beyond Toulouse.

Burns converted May's try and Gloucester were able to keep their intensity up and hold on to their lead.

Two tries from Man of the Match Jonny May rounded off a thrilling encounter at Kingsholm as Gloucester clinched a 34-24 victory over Toulouse.

The hosts were already out of the running for a quarter-final spot whilst four-times Champions Toulouse arrived in England looking to progress into the knock-out stage for the 13th time.

Defeat left their hopes hanging on Connacht claiming a first ever victory in the competition and that's exactly what they did, defeating Harlequins in Galway to send Toulouse into the last eight.

The Cherry and Whites got off to the worst possible start losing prop Nick Wood to the sin-bin in the first minute, but the Kingsholm crowd were soon cheering as Jonny May grabbed the game's first try just two minutes later.

Fly-half Freddie Burns launched a huge up and under which Toulouse failed to deal with and Timoci Matanavou's attempted clearance from inside his own in-goal area was charged down by May who then pounced on the ball to score. But the scores were soon level as Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir had the easiest of run-ins.

Dusautoir, playing in his 50th Heineken Cup match spotted acres of space around the edge of a ruck and darted clear to touch down.

Nine minutes later and Toulouse had doubled their score, Matanavou running in down the right flank after Toulouse attack had confused the Gloucester midfield, creating room for the Fijian sevens star on the wing. As with the first try Lionel Beauxis added the extras with the conversion and he then kicked a 17th minute penalty to stretch his side's lead.

There was still time for a fourth first-half try at Kingsholm as May linked up with Charlie Sharples on the right wing to send Gloucester speeding into the Toulouse twenty-two and after coming close through Alasdair Strokosch, the ball was recycled wide to Akapusi Qera who touched down.

It was again the combination of May and Sharples which fired Gloucester into the lead early in the second period.

The Toulouse defence struggled to cope with the pace of the duo as they attacked down the flanks and a simple two on one saw Sharples sprint over for his second of the evening.

A stunning break from Beauxis carved Gloucester's defence apart and once in behind the Cherry and Whites a try looked inevitable. Simple quick ball and slight of hand created the room for Matanavou to grab his second.

A Burns penalty pushed Gloucester back into the lead with seven minutes remaining and Kingsholm then erupted as May clinched the victory five minutes before time with his second score.

Final Score Gloucester 34 (14) Toulouse 24 (17)


Tries: May 2, Qera, Sharples
Penalties: Burns 2
Conversions: Burns 4

Tries: Dustautoir, Matanavou 2
Penalties: Beauxis
Conversions: Beauxis 3

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)


Gloucester Rugby: J May; C Sharples, M Tindall, E Fuimaono-Sapolu, J Simpson-Daniel; F Burns, R Lawson; N Wood, S Lawson, R Harden, J Hamilton, A Brown, A Strokosch, A Qera, L Narraway

Replacements: D Dawiduik, D Murphy, S Knight, W James, M Cox, D Lewis, R Mills, H Trinder

Toulouse: M Medard; T Matanavou, Y Jauzion, C Poitrenaud, Y Donguy; L Beauxis, L Burgess; G Steenkamp, W Servat, C Johnston, Y Maestri, P Albacete, Y Nyanga, T Dusautoir [capt], L Picamoles

Replacements: C Tolofua, D Human, J Poux, G Lamboley, J Doussain, J Bouilhou, V Clerc, S Sowerby
Toulouse replacement Vincent Clerc (22) faces a late fitness test. If he is ruled out Florian Fritz will come into the squad at No 22.

With thanks to ERCRugby.

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