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Toulouse win 21st French title to deny O'Gara and La Rochelle again


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Toulouse have won the French Top 14 for the 21st time, denying Ronan O'Gara and La Rochelle in yet another major final, winning 18-8 in Paris this evening.

Ugo Mola's side led virtually from start to finish in wet conditions at the Stade de France, the scrappy, nervy final echoing their meeting in the Heineken Champions Cup decider last month.

Toulouse played cup final rugby from the start, picking off points where they could.

With star outhalf Romain Ntamack out injured, Thomas Ramos stepped up to keep the points ticking over, getting things started with a dropgoal on three minutes, before adding two further penalties as the half wore on.

And right on half time it was Cheslin Kolbe - at fullback this evening - who sent a dropgoal from the half way line sailing between the posts, as the defending champions brought a 12-0 lead into the half time sheds.

La Rochelle started the second half brightly, and it took just two minutes after the restart for them to put their first points on the board, Ihaia West slotting a penalty to cut the gap to 12-3.

They came agonisingly close to a try on the hour mark, West almost connecting with a crossfield kick to Geoffrey Doumayrou on the tryline while on advantage, and their frustration was compounded when the New Zealander sent his kick at goal wide from the resulting penalty, his second wide from three efforts.

Within minutes, another Ramos penalty extended the Toulouse lead to 15-3, as the game appeared to be slipping away from O'Gara's upstarts, and Ramos all but sealed it with another three-pointer inside the final 10 minutes.

A late Ihaia West try was but a consolation for La Rochelle, who had to settle for second place to Toulouse for the second time in a major final in the space of five weeks.

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team


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