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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Saturday, 15 January 2011

Toulouse 17-3 Dragons

Toulouse (10) 17
Tries: Dusautoir 2, Clerc.Con: Skrela.
Dragons (3) 3
Pen: Tovey.

Vincent Clerc scores for Toulouse
Vincent Clerc scores for Toulouse against the Dragons

Heineken Cup holders Toulouse again proved too strong for battling Newport Gwent Dragons at Stade Ernest Wallon.

The visitors were already out of the reckoning for a place in the quarter-finals while Toulouse were hoping for a bonus-point win.

Skipper Thierry Dusautoir touched down in each half for the hosts while Vincent Clerc also crossed in the opening period.

Dragons fly-half Jason Tovey's kicked a first-half penalty.

The visitors had much to be proud of after matching the hosts in most phases, but T

Paul Turner had urged his side to forget their form in this season's tournament and front-up to a side steeped in European rugby glory.

The Dragons did so, trailing by two-tries-to-nil at the break as Toulouse struggled to subdue the Welsh side's spirited defence.

Dusautoir drove over from close range after a period of sustained pressure for the opening try.

But Toulouse had to rely on a piece of individual brilliance to create their second, Clement Poitrenaud powering away on an outside break before sending wing Vincent Clerc away.

Dragons fly-half Jason Tovey kicked a penalty as the second-half came to a close to leave the contest finely balance.

Lock Luke Charteris' big hit on fly-half David Skrela epitomised the visitors' battling qualities while Dusautoir's snatch at an attacking pass not intended for him summed up Toulouse's post-break problems.

The second period was scrappy even if both sides showed an attacking intent and the Dragons must have fancied their chances of an upset as the contest wore on.

But Dusautoir was powered over from a close-range line-out to break the visitors' resistance.

That left Toulouse chasing one more try for a bonus point, prompting coach Guy Noves to send mercurial fly-half Frederic Michalak into the fray.

However, Michalak found himself on the wrong side of Irish referee Peter Fitzgibbon when he attempted and failed to pluck a Wayne Evans pass out of the air one-handed as the line beckoned.

Instead Michalak knocked on and sat out the game in the sin-bin and Toulouse were unable to repeat the comprehensive nature of their earlier 40-19 pool win against the Dragons.

Toulouse: Medard; Clerc, Jauzion, Poitrenaud, Heymans; Skrela, Vergallo; Poux, Lacombe, Johnston, Lamboley, Albacete, Bouilhou, Dustautoir, Sowerby.
Replacements: Fritz for Medard (59), Michalak for Skrela (71), Doussain for Vergallo (71), Human for Poux (50), Servat for Lacombe (50), Montes for Johnston (55), Maestri for Lamboley (59), Nicolas for Dustautoir (71).

Sin Bin: Michalak (76).

Newport-Gwent Dragons: Harries; N Brew, Hughes, Smith, A Brew; Tovey, W Evans; Price, Willis, Castle, Charteris, Morgan, Lydiate, G. Thomas, Faletau.
Replacements: S Jones for Willis (61), Sidoli for Morgan (61).

Not Used: Robinson, Palmer, LEvans, Leadbeater, Leach, M Jones.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Irish RFU)

Att: 17,700

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see also
Wasps 37-10 Dragons
19 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Dragons 16-23 Wasps
12 Dec 10 |  Rugby Union
Glasgow Warriors 16-28 Toulouse
10 Dec 10 |  Glasgow
Dragons 19-40 Toulouse
16 Oct 10 |  NG Dragons
Toulouse 18-16 Wasps
10 Oct 10 |  London Wasps
Glasgow Warriors 21-13 Dragons
08 Oct 10 |  Glasgow

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