French Top 14

Heineken Champions Cup: Clinical Leinster Power Past Toulouse In Style

Heineken Champions Cup: Clinical Leinster Power Past Toulouse In Style

Four-time Heineken Champions Cup champions Leinster powered past five times champions Toulouse to confirm their place in this season's final.

Apr 29, 2023 by Philip Bendon
Heineken Champions Cup: Clinical Leinster Power Past Toulouse In Style

Leinster Rugby punched their ticket to this season’s Heineken Champions Cup final with an emphatic 41 – 22 demolition of the French side Toulouse. 

In a near mirror image of last season’s meeting between the two sides at the same stage, Leinster reaffirmed their position as the team to beat. 

Now guaranteed to play the final in Dublin, Leinster will await the result of tomorrow’s semi-final between reigning champions La Rochelle and 2019/20 winners Exeter Chiefs. 

Falling agonisingly short last season courtesy of an overtime try from La Rochelle, Leo Cullen’s side will be out for revenge on Saturday, May 20th.

Demonstrating their ability to deal with a physical onslaught from Toulouse before landing blows themselves, Leinster dispelled any notion that they are susceptible to failing to handle bigger forward packs. 

Despite conceding the opening try, Leinster rarely looked challenged, with the exception of a ten-minute spell before halftime.

Scoring five clinically executed tries through their forwards, Leinster laid down a marker for whoever emerges from tomorrow’s semi-final. 

Speaking post-match, Leinster captain James Ryan paid tribute to Toulouse, who he labelled ‘the best-attacking side in Europe’. 

"We’re happy enough, tough game. I’d say it was probably the toughest game we played all season, particularly that first 40 minutes," 

"Toulouse are probably the best-attacking side in Europe or up there as the best-attacking side in Europe. Defensively it’s always such a tough game. 

"One to 15, delighted to be able to test ourselves today and to be in the final." 

For Toulouse, their ill discipline truly hurt their chances of pulling off a victory as both Thomas Ramos and Rodrigue Neti were shown yellow cards. 

During their two periods down to 14 men, Toulouse conceded 28 points as Leinster punished them with ruthless efficiency. 

Key to Leinster’s astronomical rate of play was scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park who was awarded the Star Of the Match award for his performance. 

Speaking post-match, Gibson-Park echoed his captain’s sentiments in praising Toulouse before turning his attention to Leinster’s fans, who packed into the Aviva Stadium once again.

"Toulouse are a team we have a huge amount of respect for, they have five stars for a reason. 

"You have to really prepare well to play them, and I think, for the most part, we did. We're obviously chuffed to come away with the result." 

"There's nothing better than coming out and playing in front of our own fans and our friends and family. 

"Obviously, we have some URC games to take care of first, so we’ll get stuck into those." 

Next up for Leinster is a United Rugby Championship quarterfinal meeting with South African side the Cell C Sharks.

For Toulouse, they will return to Top 14 action as they look to hold on to their one-point advantage atop the table with La Rochelle breathing down their necks.