Heineken Champions Cup winners Toulouse and runners-up La Rochelle will face a re-match to decide the TOP 14 title, just over a month after the sides faced off in the European showpiece at Twickenham Stadium.
After La Rochelle booked their place in the French title decider with a 19-6 semi-final triumph over Racing 92 on Friday evening, Toulouse sealed a dramatic 24-21 win over Bordeaux-Bègles on Saturday in the other tie.
In a re-match of the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final played in early May, Toulouse took a fifth-minute lead when European Rugby Player of the Year nominee Romain Ntamack crossed the whitewash.
Thomas Ramos, who contributed 19 points for the five-time European champions, added a penalty, but Bordeaux hit back when Ben Lam notched the first of his two tries after 12 minutes.
Ramos added two further penalties to give the hosts a 11-7 half-time lead, only for Bordeaux to grab the initiative early in the second period with another Lam try and two penalties from Matthieu Jalibert.
However, Ramos responded with a penalty of his own before touching down his side’s second try to cement a 24-18 lead.
A Jalibert penalty three minutes from time reduced the deficit to three points, but that was as far as the visitors’ comeback went.
Played over nine weekends, we are pleased to announce the key dates for the 2021/22 #HeinekenChampionsCup 🤩
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) June 16, 2021
In the Gallagher Premiership, there were points aplenty in the semi-finals as Harlequins overcame Bristol Bears 43-36 in extra time and Exeter Chiefs defeated Sale Sharks 40-30.
Bristol had roared into a 28-0 lead in their semi, with Max Malins contributing a hat-trick of tries to go with solo efforts from Ben Earl and Luke Morahan.
However, Quins stuck to their task and overcame the 2020 Challenge Cup winners with braces from Tyrone Green and Joe Marchant – the latter dotting down in the 100th minute to secure victory.
Eight more tries were shared at Sandy Park as Exeter continued their quest to retain their Premiership crown.
Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom O’Flaherty, Jack Nowell (2) and Alex Cuthbert were the scorers for Exeter, for whom Joe Simmonds added three penalties and three conversions to book their place in the competition’s finale next Saturday.