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Ulster’s quick chance of revenge over Toulouse

Thursday 10th December 2020

4:00 pm (GMT)

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Ulster’s quick chance of revenge over Toulouse

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns fends off an ASM Clermont Auvergne defender in last season's Heineken Champions Cup

Ulster Rugby have been granted a quick chance to avenge their 36-8 drubbing by Toulouse in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals when they entertain the four-time winners at Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium on Friday.

The 11th meeting between the sides, which kicks off at 20:00 local time, will be televised live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

Key quotes

Dan McFarland (Ulster): “Playing against a team like Toulouse, perennial champions of the competition who have beaten us by 30-odd points the last time we were playing in Europe, the mountain we have to climb is significant.”

Ugo Mola (Toulouse): “They are an opponent we know well because we’ve been studying them for a long time. Very few teams manage to win in Ulster.”

Match facts

  • Ulster and Toulouse have met 10 times before in the Heineken Champions Cup. Ulster hold a narrow head-to-head advantage, having won five of those clashes (D1, L4).
  • Ulster have won each of their last nine home games in the Heineken Champions Cup. Bordeaux were the last side to beat them on their own patch (Round 6, 2016/17).
  • Ulster were the only side not to receive a card of any colour in the Heineken Champions Cup last season. In contrast, Toulouse were shown three yellow cards and one red in 2019/20.
  • Toulouse averaged the most metres gained (482) in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, as well as the most offloads per game (13.6).
  • Toulouse’s Sofiane Guitoune made the most offloads in the Heineken Champions Cup last season (17), while his teammate Thomas Ramos gained the most metres in 2019/20 (651).

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Kolbe shines as Toulouse secure Round 1 victory in Belfast

Friday 11th December 2020

10:27 pm (GMT)

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Kolbe shines as Toulouse secure Round 1 victory in Belfast

Toulouse's Cheslin Kolbe scores a try

Toulouse battled back from 12-0 down to record a crucial away success in the Heineken Champions Cup, eventually seeing off Ulster Rugby in a 29-22 win in Belfast on Friday night.

A brace from Heineken Star of the Match Cheslin Kolbe proved pivotal as the visitors got off to the perfect start in Pool B.

Ulster dominated the opening 20 minutes and deservedly took the lead when Rob Herring went over after a driving maul was too powerful for Toulouse from close range.

John Cooney converted and played a big hand in the second try, as when the Ulster scrum held firm, Cooney released Madigan to sprint clear for a delightful second score.

Ulster would only be 12-0 up for a matter of seconds, as with knock-on advantage being played, Kolbe sprinted clear from inside his own half, blitzed two Ulster defenders, chipped over another, collected his chip and dived over the whitewash.

Just before the break, Toulouse took the lead as Cooney tried to stop the quick release from the scrum but Antoine Dupont was too quick, ducking and diving before sprinting clear to score at the posts.

Toulouse led at the interval but soon surrendered that lead as Cooney swept over a three-pointer before the French side hit the front again.

It was a powerful driving maul that collapsed close to the Ulster line, before Rory Arnold was able to inch his way over and dot down.

The lead would flip again shortly after, as Rob Herring again took advantage of an Ulster driving maul that splintered the Toulouse defence.

Ulster would now lead by a solitary point but Toulouse soon regained an advantage they would not surrender again.

It was Kolbe again who would not be beaten as he got tackled, but was not held and got back up before sliding past another Ulster player and scoring the match-winning try.

Thomas Ramos then added further gloss to the score with a successful penalty kick from inside his own half, giving the visitors a seven-point success.

Ulster travel to face Gloucester Rugby next week, whilst Toulouse will host Exeter Chiefs.

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