Toulouse – Leinster – Notes from the Champions Cup final: Antoine Dupont in general, Jack Willis as a warrior

Toulouse – Leinster – Notes from the Champions Cup final: Antoine Dupont in general, Jack Willis as a warrior
Toulouse – Leinster – Notes from the Champions Cup final: Antoine Dupont in general, Jack Willis as a warrior

The Stade Toulouse forwards were remarkable against Leinster in an intense showdown, particularly in the ground game and in resisting the numerous Irish mauls. Jack Willis was immense. Behind, Antoine Dupont guided his men despite opposing pressure and Matthis Lebel scored his team’s only try.

15. Blair Kinghorn 7/10

The Scottish full-back delivered a great match in this Champions Cup final, being imperious in the aerial game despite opposing pressure. He was precise in all his interventions, often allowing Stade Toulouse to get out of difficult situations. He was also decisive defensively with a huge tackle on the opposing opener to cut off an Irish action (22e), before saving the homeland just before the half-hour mark on a breakthrough from Dan Sheehan. In the penalty shootout, he found the target four times in five attempts. He slipped to the wing when Thomas Ramos came on, still looking as inspired as ever.

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14. Juan Cruz Mallia 5/10

He thought he had scored the first try of the match in the 2e minute of play on a brilliant pass from Antoine Dupont whose foot finally went into touch. The Argentinian was serious defensively and he recovered valuable ammunition under a Toulouse dismissal. On the other hand, he missed a pass on a penalty played quickly in the first period when the action could have been dangerous. He slipped to the center after the exit of Paul Costes. He was finally replaced by Paul Graou in 93e minute.

13. Paul Costes 5/10

The young three-quarter center from Toulouse was certainly taken by the event in the first period, suffering in particular in the defensive sector and penalized for a sluggish spell. Nevertheless, he showed his advantage from the restart with numerous and decisive tackles. Replaced by Thomas Ramos just before the hour mark (59e). The Toulouse full-back allowed his team to regain the advantage ten minutes from the final whistle on a penalty 45 meters away in the corner. On the other hand, he struggled under high balls. He also missed a penalty at the start of overtime, before adjusting his sights and no longer missing the target.

12. Pita Ahki (not rated)

The regulator of the Toulouse attack line had to leave the pitch from the 23rde minute of play due to pain in the right thigh. He had been absent under dismissal (8e) before making a risky defensive climb on the action where he was injured. Replaced 23rd by Santiago Chocobares who had few balls to negotiate. He stood out at the end of the first period with a good tackle in his twenty-two meters. He also intercepted a ball in front of his line (54e). He still had the energy to attack the advantage line hard at the start of the second half of overtime and thus obtain a penalty.

11. Matthis Lebel 7.5/10

The Toulouse winger especially had some defensive work to do, finishing the first act by being the best Haut-Garonne three-quarter in this exercise with in particular a decisive return on a full axis breakthrough from Rob Henshaw (24e). He was clean offensively on his rare balls, gaining ground and ensuring the continuity of the game. He nevertheless missed an incredible testing action on a pass to the foot of Romain Ntamack (69e), pushed into touch by diving into the goal. He finally scored the first try of the match in overtime (84e) while Toulouse had a numerical superiority.

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10. Romain Ntamack 7/10

He formed a formidable duo with Jack Willis to carve up the Irish attackers. The opener was heroic in the defensive sector. In the offensive organization, he had to deal with the very rapid Irish attacks. He was still able to find some solutions (four defenders beaten) including a perfect foot pass for Matthis Lebel (69e).

9. Antoine Dupont 8/10

He was put under pressure behind every ruck. The Toulouse captain also lost an unusual number of balls and made two bad passes in favorable situations in the opposing ten meters. The scrum half sometimes got annoyed in the first act, making some bad choices. But Antoine Dupont is an unparalleled champion, capable of forgetting negative actions to immediately make a decisive gesture, like this scratch five meters away when he had been intercepted on this action. Penalized twice, he also found an incredible 50-22, but also scratched an incredible ball in the 74the minute. Despite unusual errors, he kept Stade Toulouse in the match.

Antoine Dupont, captain of Toulouse, led his team to a sixth European star
PA Images / Icon Sport – Adam Davy

8. Alexandre Roumat: 7/10

It wasn’t really a match for him where physical density and defense were in the spotlight. He had few opportunities to showcase his gesture quality in attack. But, with Meafou, he was at the origin of a penalty collected on a counter-ruck, allowing Kinghorn to bring the score to 6-0 (8e). On the sidelines, he sometimes disrupted the Irish line-up. And above all, he was invaluable on the Irish referrals where his precision was crucial.

7. François Cros 7/10

What a defender! The Toulouse third row was impressive in this meeting, particularly in terms of the quality of his tackles. Like this cartridge on the third line center Doris (22e). In total, he was credited with fifteen tackles. He was replaced by Joshua Brennan at 69e minute of the meeting.

6. Jack Willis: 8/10

Another great match from the England international. Best tackler in the first 80 minutes with 23 tackles, he was at all the meeting points, in all the battles in the ground game. He constantly slowed down opposing balls. During extra time, he continued the same undermining work, until finishing the match with 30 tackles on the clock. He deserves a real hat-off, he was one of the great architects of Toulouse’s victory.

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5. Emmanuel Meafou: 7/10

From the start of the match, he set the Irish defense on fire to serve Mallia along the touchline. Then, he put the Irish defense at fault on a counter-ruck, offering his scorer Kinghorn the opportunity to add three points (6-0, 8e). An excellent first period during which he covered 16 meters with the ball in hand, more than any other player in the Toulouse forward pack. Only Irish third row Doris did better than him in the first forty minutes. He was replaced by Arnold in the 55the minute of the match, before returning for overtime.

4. Thibaud Flament: 6/10

Valuable on the touchline where he was often targeted, he also disrupted the Irish lineup. He stole a ball which could have led to a Toulouse try (27e). On the other hand, he was a little less visible than usual. Only seven tackles to his credit, including two misses during the first 80 minutes of the game. On the other hand, he was one of the players who still had juice during overtime.

3. Dorian Aldegheri: 5/10

Certainly not his greatest performance. He was penalized for an illegal “contest” within his team’s 22 meters, offering three points to Leinster (18e). He also suffered in the scrum against Porter, quite regularly suffering from the domination of his opposite number. In total, he was penalized four times. But the melee suffered even more after his release. He was replaced by Merckler in the 55the minute which, like the Toulouse scrum at the end of the match, really experienced difficulties.

2. Peato Mauvaka 6.5/10

He had a lot of activity: two defenders beaten in the first half and fourteen successful tackles, no failures. On the other hand, he was trapped on a carried ball which was advancing well by the Leinster defense (26e). Also at its flow is a throw too high at the back of the alignment (32e). But a performance worthy of its status. He was replaced by Julien Marchand at 55e minute of the match, which was decisive at the very end of overtime with a winning contest, allowing Thomas Ramos to score a final penalty, synonymous with final victory.

1. Cyril Baille 6.5/10

A clean match for the international. Good scrum performance against Furlong who is a great customer and good defensive activity in the first half (6 tackles). He finished the game with twelve successful tackles, no failures. It was he who took over Caelan Doris launched full iron on an inside return (50e) which could have proved dangerous. In attack, as usual, he offered a lot. He was replaced by Rodrigue Neti on the hour mark who, like the Toulouse scrum at the end of the match, really suffered.

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