Sun, Oct 19, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Heineken Cup: Toulouse struggle to victory in Glasgow

AFP , GLASGOW, SCOTLAND

Glasgow’s Thom Evans, rear, is challenged by Toulouse’s Clement Poitrenaud during their European Cup match at Firhill Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Triple champions Toulouse edged Glasgow 22-16 for their second win in two games in this season’s European Cup on Friday, but they failed to pick up a crucial try-scoring bonus point.

The French, who needed a last-minute penalty to beat Bath last weekend, struggled with handling errors and conceded a series of sloppy penalties in the first half to trail 9-7 at the interval.

But they scored two tries in the space of eight minutes at the start of the second period, which created the platform for a nervous victory in the Pool 5 clash at Firhill.

Glasgow coach Sean Lineen, whose side have now lost both their group matches, praised his side.

“Their tries were quite soft. Our set piece was great, our scrum was solid and we gave it everything,” Lineen said. “We’re proud of the way we stood up in defense and we can hold our heads high. [Fly-half] Dan Parks controlled the game and [winger] Thom Evans caused problems, but Toulouse turned their pressure into points.”

Toulouse scrum-half, former All Black Byron Kelleher said: “We’re not consistent at the moment. We have to improve on our basic skills.”

Scottish international Parks kicked two penalties for a 6-0 Glasgow lead inside the first 13 minutes, but missed the opportunity to make it 9-0 when he horribly scuffed a third.

The French giants made him pay when they scored the first try of the night after 25 minutes when Toulouse turned the ball over at a Glasgow scrum, allowing David Skrela to sprint through a huge gap to score.

Skrela hit the conversion, but Parks was successful with another penalty eight minutes from the interval to give the Scots a deserved halftime lead.

French class shone through early in the second half.

After Malell Kunavore had kicked a drop goal to give Toulouse a 10-9 lead, Kelleher went over for his side’s second try of the match.

Flying winger Maxime Medard, who had dropped the ball when just short of the try line in the first half, was left with lots of space on the halfway line to sprint away from his markers.

He fed supporting prop Salvatore Perugini, who then released Kelleher for the try.

Skrela missed the conversion, but in the 52nd minute his side scored their third try to lead 20-9.

Full-back Clement Poitrenaud prodded the ball forward to leave the Scottish defense flat-footed, before fellow international Yannick Jauzion crossed. This time Skrela was successful with the conversion and extended the lead to 22-9.

Toulouse went looking for a bonus point from a fourth try, but in the 76th minute they made a terrible hash of a move when they were camped on the Glasgow line.

Three times the French failed to gather the ball and Glasgow’s New Zealand winger Lome Faatau sprinted away to grab his team’s only try, converted by Parks, to make the final score 22-16.

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