Toulouse beat Bayonne and end losing streak

Nineteen-time French Top14 Rugby champions Toulouse ruthlessly crushed talk of crisis at the heavyweight club by handing out a four-try, bonus-point 35-6 mauling of Bayonne on Friday.

Former All Black Luke McAlister finished the match with 20 points as the defending champions, and four-time European Cup winners, moved into second spot in the Top 14 table.

Toulon, who have the only perfect record in the division with five wins in five matches, lead the way, two points in front of Toulouse, ahead of their match on Saturday against Castres.

“We needed to rediscover our passion. This is sport, we are not working in a factory,” said Toulouse manager Guy Noves.

“This was a good Toulouse performance at a level where we should be at this stage of the season and with the European Cup starting in a few weeks.”

Last week’s 34-20 loss against Perpignan was Toulouse’s second in five games, but they were untroubled against Bayonne.

Fijian winger Timoci Matanavou scored the opening try of the game after 16 minutes following good work by centre Florian Fritz and Romain Millo-Chluski after Bayonne had lost possession.

French international flanker Yannick Nyanga added a second try, five minutes after the interval with winger Vincent Clerc creating the opportunity.

McAlister converted to add to his three first half-penalties.

Replacement flanker Jean Bouilhou added the third try in the 71st minute before McAlister grabbed the fourth, shrugging off the challenge of compatriot Joe Rokocoko, in the dying moments.

Fly-half Benjamin Boyet kicked Bayonne’s only points with two first-half penalties.

“We were eaten up,” said Boyet. “We didn’t know how to rival Toulouse physically and we spent all the second period in their territory. Courage is not enough.”

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