Toulouse edge out La Rochelle 22-17 to claim fifth European Champions Cup title

Toulouse lift the 2021 European Champions Cup trophy
©EPCR

La Rochelle 17-22 Toulouse, Twickenham Stadium
Scorecard

Romain Ntamack contributed with 17 points as Toulouse edged out La Rochelle with a five-point margin at Twickenham Stadium to claim the Heineken Champions Cup.

This is the fifth time Toulouse has gone on to win the Champions Cup after clinching the titles in the 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2010 editions making them the first French side to win the title since Toulon six years ago.

With 10,000 spectators witnessing the game at Twickenham Stadium, Ntamack started the proceedings with a fifth minute penalty kick before his counterpart Ihaia West responded with a three-pointer of his own in the 7th minute.

Richie Arnold had to leave the field for the visitors in the 10th minute but they reclaimed the lead with Ntamack seized the lead back for Toulouse with another three-pointer in the 11th minute but West's kick that followed hit the posts as the opening quarter ended with a 3-6 scoreline.

The scores were levelled in the 26th minute with West getting his penalty kick to perfection but a minute later they were down to 14-men as Levani Botia was sent off for a high tackle on Maxime Medard but both the teams were equal in numbers heading into the break as Toulouse lost Rynhardt Elstadt to sin-bin for playing the ball on to the ground.

Both West and Ntamack traded a couple of penalties apiece in the next 15 minutes as the scores continued to remain levelled at 12-12 by the start of the second half. Toulouse came close to extending the lead in the 45th minute when Antoine Dupont kicked to send Cheslin Kolbe in the corner but was stopped by a tackle from Geoffrey Doumayrou.

Eventually Toulouse got their breakthrough when a long pass from Ntamack allowed centre Juan Cruz Mallia to dot down with the France international followed with the conversion to make it 12-19. Ntamack kicked another penalty to extend Toulouse's lead to 10 points before Tawera Kerr-Barlow scored a consolation try for La Rochelle.

Team line up:

La Rochelle: Dulin; Leyds, Doumayrou, Botia, Rhule; West, Kerr-Barlow; Priso, Bourgarit, Antonio, Sazy, Skelton, Alldritt, Gourdon, Vito

Reserves: Bosch, Wardi, Joly, Lavault, Liebenberg, Boudehent, Retiere, Plisson

Toulouse: Medard; Kolbe, Mallia, Ahki, Lebel; Ntamack, Dupont; Baille, Mauvaka, Faumuina, Rory Arnold, Ritchie Arnold, Elstadt, Cros, Kaino

Reserves: G Marchand, Castets, Ainu'u, Tekori, Flament, Tolofua, Germain, Ramos.

 

European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table