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Toulouse-Stade Français: the Toulouse hinge shines, the Parisian defense sinks... The tops and the flops


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Toulouse-Stade Français: the Toulouse hinge shines, the Parisian defense sinks... The tops and the flops


But what does Jack Willis do? A tireless scratcher and tackler, he is literally everywhere on the pitch. Whether in attack, where he constantly provides support and pushes his team forward, or in defense where he tackles with all his might and scratches several more balls this evening. If Toulouse are so strong this season, they owe it in part to their English third line. A complete player par excellence, he manages to stand out individually while he is accompanied in the third row by two equally grandiose players, Cros and Roumat. With such a third line, Toulouse can see it coming.

Yes, these two men are indeed understudies. Replacements. And yet what a match for the Graou-Mallia duo! From the start, they knew how to keep their eyes closed and make the right choices. The pass to Mallia's foot on the first try is a marvel of accuracy. Like most of his choices and initiatives. Graou is clean, fast and at times even shows proof of experience that we didn't know he had. They both knew how to lead the Toulouse attacks brilliantly, helped by a very strong Ramos, in order to win a bonus point against the best defense in the championship. Even without Dupont and Ntamack, Toulouse remains the best attack in the championship.

Author of a fiery first half, the Capuozzo-Lebel duo was radiant. From the start of the game, we felt Lebel in good shape after he recovered a candle from Thomas Ramos. It will not take him more than 10 minutes to score his first try on a pass to the foot of Mallia. Capuozzo quickly highlighted his canes, on several Toulouse offensive actions. Before his class action which led to the second Toulouse test. Accelerate, put back inside. Simple, effective. In the second half, although less decisive, they continued to create danger and bring imbalance. And to think that Toulouse can also field Kinghorn, Delibes, Bituniyata, Mallia…

Relive the match - Toulouse-Stade Français: Toulouse crushes Stade Français


How can we not talk about the defense of Stade Français... Best defense in the championship at kick-off, the wall quickly crumbled against the Toulouse banderillas. Whether in the open play, like on the first tries, or in the play before, the visitors seemed overwhelmed. Sometimes late, or simply on the back foot, they never took the measure of the Toulouse attack. And it's a match that can hurt a defense which was advancing confidently and which is one of the strong sectors of this team. The match against UBB next week will be a real test, against the other exceptional attack in the championship.

This is the black point that Ugo Mola raised during the match. Two tries too easily conceded by Toulouse who were nevertheless dominant and solid in defense. The first comes after a good offensive sequence from the Parisians and a penalty obtained near the try line. Filou, Peyresblanques quickly plays the penalty and, powerfully, will score the try while the Toulouse residents were not all replaced. Some even lose interest in the action. The second is perhaps more problematic. Following a Parisian dismissal, the Toulouse team was unable to regain control of the ball. This ends up in the hands of Joris Segonds who breaks through a poorly placed defense and only has to play a classic one-on-one with Lester Etien. Two tests too easy for Paris. Errors that Ugo Mola and his men will have to correct in the run-up to the Champions Cup final which awaits them against Leinster (May 25, 3:45 p.m.).

In a first period where Paris had the opportunities, Joris Segonds, the Parisian flyhalf, abused the kicking game behind the Toulouse defense. So certainly, the Toulouse defense was in place and Paris did not succeed in creating an advance on the advantage line. But when the third curtain is covered by Mallia and Ramos, and knowing the counterattack strength of the Haut-Garonnais, the mission looked complex. And it was, the Parisians never endangered the locals with placed attacks and surrendered far too many balloons and ammunition to their opponents. So tactical choices or simple proof of a team without a solution? We'll never know, but in the end it was 49-18.

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