Toulouse 64 - 26 Exeter: Exeter Chiefs Knocked Out of Champions Cup by Nine-Try Toulouse Rampage - Ruck

Toulouse 64 – 26 Exeter: Exeter Chiefs Knocked Out of Champions Cup by Nine-Try Toulouse Rampage

By Jack Sanderson

A game of two halves saw Exeter Chiefs knocked out of the Champions Cup at the quarter final stage, after conceding 7 second half tries on a difficult day, with Scotsman Blair Kinghorn scoring two tries and 13 points from the tee in a dominant 64-26 win for Toulouse.

An incredibly relentless and fast flowing first half saw the Chiefs take an early 3-0 lead after some good pressure in Toulouse’s 22 which seemed to be ended by a Harvey Skinner knock on. However the resulting Toulouse scrum led to the ball being turned over to the Chiefs after the French side held onto the ball in the ruck, giving Henry Slade the chance to give the side from Devon an early 3 point lead.

Despite the quick start from the Chiefs, just minutes after taking the lead the home side broke quickly down the left hand side as Matthis Lebel picked the ball up and popped it inside to Romain Ntamack who waltzed through to the try line and put Toulouse ahead for the first time in the match. Blair Kinghorn then added the extras and the home side took a 7-3 lead after 8 minutes. 

However, the Chiefs weren’t going to roll over, and a penalty was given to the away side in the 13th minute after Emannuel Meafou found himself on the wrong side of the ruck, and Henry Slade picked up another 3 points to take the Chiefs just one point behind their French hosts. 

The main flash point of the first half came in the 17th minute after a Chiefs scrum was spun out wide to Olly Woodburn who was brought down a couple metres from the try line. After what looked like two clear knock ons from the Chiefs that referee Chris Busby decided were knocked backwards, Toulouse hooker Peato Mauvaka was sent to the bin for being off his feet, which was met by enraged howls from the French crowd.

From the resulting penalty, the Chiefs took a quick tap and go with Skinner spinning it centrally to Rusi Tuima, who offloaded quickly to Ethan Roots who bundled over to give the Chiefs a controversial 7-11 lead. Henry Slade slotted the extras and the Chiefs were 6 points clear. 

Each side then saw a penalty converted in the 21st and 29th minute respectively, with the Chiefs leading 16-10 going into the last 10 minutes of the half. However, the home side would have the last laugh of the first half when Antoine Dupont moved the ball out wide and eventually found the hands of Englishman Jack Willis, who smashed through the tackle of Harvey Skinner and trotted over the try line to put Toulouse back to within a point of the Chiefs, with Blair Kinghorn adding the extras to put Toulouse 17-16 ahead at half time. 

The second half started the same as the first, with Henry Slade Converting a penalty inside the first five minutes to give the Chiefs a 19-17 lead. However, that would be the last time the Chiefs would be ahead in the match, as Toulose turned rampant scoring 4 tries in 10 minutes. 

Blair Kinghorn started the rout at 48 minutes after the French side were camped on the Chiefs try line for a while, when the number 15 broke through the stretched Chiefs line and dotted over for the try. Kinghorn converted his own try and Toulouse led 24-19. Pita Ahki was next to go over for Toulouse as Ntamack saw a gap in behind Jack Yeandle at the back of the line-out and played Lebel into the space who squared it to Ahki for another French try.

5 minutes later, Kinghorn was over again after a succession of quick offloads found the ball in the hands of the number 15 who raced past a couple of challenges to give Toulouse a 38-19 lead. The home side weren’t done though, as Antoine Dupont got himself on the scoresheet 2 minutes later as the Toulouse captain drove home from outside the Chiefs 22, and after a lengthy TMO check, the Toulouse party could start. 

However, the Chiefs offered some resistance just 4 minutes later as a Chiefs lineout found its way to Henry Slade who offloaded quickly to Zach Wimbush, who took a brilliant catch one handed to hold onto the ball and go over the try line to give the Chiefs a slither of hope. Slade converted the extras and the Chiefs were back to within 20 points of the home side.

Unfortunately for Exeter, the rampant Toulouse were not finished, scoring three more tries, two from Mallia and one from Ahki, to see the French side comfortably through to a Champions Cup semi-final. 


TRIES – 9 (Ntamack 8’, Willis 32’, Kinghorn 48’, 56’, Ahki 51’, 75’,  Dupont 58’, Mallia 67’, 80’) 

CONVERSIONS – 8 (Kinghorn 8’, 32’, 48’, 51’, 56’, Ramos 67’, 75’, 80’,) 

PENALTIES – 1 (Kinghorn 21’)


YELLOW CARDS – 1 (Mauvaka 17’)


15. Blair Kinghorn 14. Juan Cruz Mallia 13. Pierre-Louis Barassi 12. Pita Ahki 11. Matthis Lebel 10. Romain Ntamack 9. Antoine Dupont (Captain) 1. Cyril Baille 2. Peato Mauvaka 3. Dorian Aldeghori 4. Richie Arnold 5. Emmanuel Meafou 6. Jack Willis 7. Francois Cros 8. Alexandre Roumat 


16. Julien Marhand 17. Rodrigue Neti 18. Joel Merkler 19. Thibaud Flament 20. Joshua Brennan 21. Paul Graou 22. Thomas Ramos 23. Paul Costes 24. Santiago Chocobares 


TRIES – 2 (Roots 17’, Wimbush 62’) 

CONVERSIONS – 2 (Slade 17’, 62’)

PENALTIES – 4 (Slade 6’, 13’, 29’, 44’)




15. Josh Hodge 14. Immanuel Feyi-Waboso 13. Henry Slade 12. Ollie Devoto 11. Olly Woodburn 10. Harvey Skinner 9. Tom Cairns 1. Scott Sio 2. Jack Yeandle 3. Ehren Painter 4. Rusi Tuima 5. Dafydd Jenkins (Captain) 6. Ethan Roots 7. Christ Tshuinza 8. Ross Vincent 


16. Jack Innard 17. Danny Southworth 18. Marcus Street 19. Lewis Pearson 20. Greg Fisilau 21. Stu Townsend 22. Will Haydon-Wood 23. Zach Wimbush