By Pierre Mailharin
Two flashes of Antoine Dupont in the second period allowed Toulouse long-suspended to get rid of the promoted Biarritz (11-17)
And Toulouse accelerated… Seven and a half years after their last confrontation in the top flight, Toulouse and Biarrots met this Saturday afternoon in Aguilera. If the Basques have long looked in the eyes of the champions of France and Europe, undefeated leaders of the Top 14, they ended up giving in on two terrible accelerations of the international scrum-half Antoine Dupont, barely come into play.
In a first half where defenses and clumsiness took over, the score would remain blank for a long time. Until a penalty from Thomas Ramos, sanctioning a foul on the ground from Biarritz (0-3; 36e). Previously, the English opener of the BO Brett Herron had missed an off-center kick but in his strings (4e), only his third failure since the start of the championship in twenty attempts. Co-best director with him before the opening of this 5th day of Top 14, Ramos had also lost three points, his drop from the 18e passing right next to it.
If Steffon Armitage’s teammates had tried to pack the start of the match as against UBB or Racing 92, it was the Toulouse leader who had overall pain in his hand during this first period. But Kuridrani’s spoonful rescue on Nanai-Tavae and three hits stolen by the reds and whites had allowed them to stay in the game at the break (0-3).
Dupont disgusts the Biarrots
The soundtrack attacked the second act with a beating pace. Ruffenach, exfiltrated from a good carried ball, was returned in the in-goal. But on the next action, the BO got a penalty in front of the posts, which Herron converted (3-3; 43e). The meeting started in all directions, the Biarrots took the advantage for the first time thanks to a drop of their ten (6-3; 55e).
But Antoine Dupont left only three minutes of happiness to Aguilera. In two flashes, the freshly entered international scrum half disgusted the Biarrots and sealed the outcome of the match. At the end of a conquering scrum, he crossed for Nanai who plunged into the in-goal (6-10; 58th). Then with a feint of passing, it was he who made the trunk to flatten (6-17; 61e).
The logical red received by Tekori (69e) for a headline on Ruffenach, sent, meant a semblance of suspense at the end of the match. But Martin’s corner try, not transformed, was for the honor (11-17; 76th). Toulouse was too strong.