Skrela puts the boot into London Wasps

David Skrela kicked six penalties to inspire defending champions Toulouse to a 18-16 victory over 2004 champions Wasps in their opening European Cup clash on Sunday.


Skrela landed the sixth of his kicks eight minutes from time to give the hosts a two-point lead in a match which was played in heavy rain and yielded just the one try.


David Lemi grabbed it for the English side in the second-half to give them the lead and hope of recording their fourth win in six meetings with their French opponents.


Skrela’s fifth penalty, a massive effort from the halfway line gave the hosts some breathing space at 15-9 but Wasps, who beat Toulouse in a thrilling 2004 European Cup final, hit back immediately with a try.


A great chip ahead by Dave Walder – who had scored all their points prior to that with two penalties and a drop goal – was allowed to bounce by Toulouse fullback Clement Poitrenaud and it gave Lemi the time to hack it ahead and apply enough pressure to it to persuade the video referee to award it.


The decision infuriated both the players and the crowd, who jeered referee George Clancy – Walder paid no heed to them and converted to make it 16-15.


Toulouse cleared their heads and retook the lead eight minutes from the final whistle as the peerless Skrela once again converted a penalty from distance.


Wasps had a final opportunity to win the match but Walder for once was found wanting as his penalty drifted wide of the left hand post.


Final Score Toulouse 18 (9) London Wasps 16 (9)


Scorers


Toulouse
Penalty – David Skrela (6)


London Wasps:
Try – David Lemi
Conversion – Dave Walder
Penalty – Dave Walder (2)
Drop Goal – Dave Walder


Referee: George Clancey (RFU)


Man of the Match: Census Johnston (Toulouse)


Attendance: 26,928


Toulouse: Poitrenaud, Clerc, Fritz, Jauzion, Heymans, Skrela, Kelleher, Poux, Servat, Johnston, Lamboley, Millo-Chluski, Nyanga, Dustautoir, Sowerby.


Replacements: Lacombe, Human Picamoles, Medard , Maestri, Montes, Bezy, Vergallo.


Wasps: van Gisbergen, Haughton, Jacobs, Waldouck, Varndell, Walder, Simpson, Taulafo, Ward, Broster, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Rees, Powell.


Replacements: Webber, Beech, Hobson, Cannon , Ward-Smith , Berry , Lemi ,Flutey.

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