Toulouse beat Bulls to set up Champions Cup quarter against Sharks

Bulls head coach Jake White before the 32-23 United Rugby Championship loss to Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Bulls head coach Jake White before the 32-23 United Rugby Championship loss to Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Image: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Gallo Images

French giants Toulouse easily dispatched the Bulls 33-9 in the Heineken Champions Cup last 16 on Sunday to set up an exciting quarterfinal clash against the Sharks.  

Toulouse scored three unanswered tries in the second half — by Emmanuel Meafou, Matthis Lebel and Thibaud Flament. Thomas Ramos was the star of the show with his boot at Stadium de Toulouse, scoring 18 points.

The Bulls’ nine points came from the boot of flyhalf Chris Smith. The hosts led 12-6 at the break.  

The five-time winners of the Champions Cup will now host the Springbok-laden Sharks in the Pink City next weekend.  

The Bulls had a positive start and were the first to get points on the scoreboard but their lack of discipline let them down in the opening half.  

The South Africans won a penalty seconds into the game and Smith made no mistake with his kick for the poles. But the visitors started conceding too many penalties and Ramos scored all his four kicks for the poles between the eighth and 34th minutes.  

The Bulls’ discipline issues resulted in them being reduced to 14 men as centre Harold Vorster was yellow-carded 10 minutes before half time.  

Conceding too many penalties appears to be a serious concern for the men from Pretoria — they were penalised 17 times in their previous match, a United Rugby Championship (URC) defeat to Ulster.  

Smith’s second kick for poles reduced the deficit to six points before the break.  

Despite a promising start to the second half for the Bulls, with Smith slotting his third penalty, Toulouse responded with two tries.  

The try came after the Bulls conceded another penalty and Toulouse played a quick tap to allow Meafou to cross the whitewash on 51 minutes. Lebel scored the second four minutes later.  

Flament’s third try put the final nail in the Bulls’ coffin and ensured the former Champions Cup winners a place in the quarters.  

Though players such as Bismarck du Plessis played well from the bench, it came a touch too late rescue the situation against strong and dangerous Toulouse.  

The Bulls, who were the runners-up in the URC last season, have now gone six matches without a victory in all competitions. 


Toulouse 33 (12): Try: Emmanuel Meafou, Matthis Lebel, Thibaud Flament.
Conversion: Thomas Ramos (3) Penalties: Ramos (4).

Bulls 9 (6): Penalties: Chris Smith (3) .


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