Toulouse beat Clermont to claim their 20th Top 14 title

Toulouse beat Clermont to claim their 20th Top 14 title

Toulouse recorded a 24-18 victory over Clermont in the TOP14 Final on Saturday to claim their 20th French title and cap off a wonderful season, where they topped the regular season standings, amassing a record number of league points.


Yoann Huget became the first player to score a brace in a TOP14 Final as Jerome Kaino led his new side to victory in his first season at the club.

It was Clermont who took the lead in the opening minute of the game through a Greig Laidlaw penalty after an infringement at the scrum. However, their advantage did not last too long as Thomas Ramos registered Toulouse's first points of the final after Clermont were caught offside and his cross kick to Yoann Huget did not produce a try.

Laidlaw and Ramos traded penalties again before the 20-minute mark before Yoann Huget scored the first try of the game in the 28th minute. The try was a result of considerable pressure as Cheslin Kolbe took it at pace to the line before releasing his winger to score.

 

Kolbe was in the thick of things soon after but this time he was sent to the sin bin for an early tackle on Peceli Yato after Fritz Lee picked off Antoine Dupont's pass from a lineout and sprinted into the 22. Clermont opted to the three points and the scoreline remained unchanged from there as Toulouse lead 11-9 at half time.

After the break, Ramos and Laidlaw once again traded penalties before by the 50th minute before Yoann Huget become the first player to score a brace in the Top 14 Final. The Toulouse backs spread the ball through the line before Cheslin Kole picked up his second try assist as he tipped the final pass on to Huget to score. 

Ramos converted the try to push the lead past a two-score lead. Laidlaw put his side back in the game on the hour mark but once again it took just 5 minutes for Ramos to re-instate the 11 point gap.

Clermont put the Toulouse defence under the pump in the final 20 minutes of the game and Lopez was given the opportunity to cut the lead from right in front as Clermont drew within six point with 8 minutes left to play.

The two sides traded attacking blows from there but Toulouse were able to hold onto their lead despite a knock on handing Clermont one final roll of the dice to win the game that was spoiled by a knock on. 

Top performers:
 
 
Antoine Dupont: Electrifying pace with a number of good runs, slick distribution and some pinpoint kicks.
 
 
Yoann Huget: Superb finishing ability to round off the only two tries in the match.
 
 
Greig Laidlaw: Slotted five from five off the kicking tee to tally 15 points to keep the scoreboard ticking over and keep Clermont in the match.
 
 
Pita Ahki: Strong carries in the midfield and rock solid in defence.
 
 
Peceli Yato: Strong ball carries and put in some thumping hits. 
 
Cheslin Kolbe: Assisted two tries, was excellent in the air and his yellow card actually saved a potential try.

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