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banner Sunday, 28 October, 2001, 16:55 GMT
Ntamack ends Falcons' hopes
Toulouse's Luigi Esposito, Yannick Bru and Christian Califano
Yannick Bru ran over for one of Toulouse's tries
Toulouse 33-13 Newcastle

Veteran French international Emile Ntamack was the driving force behind Toulouse's win over Newcastle, which ended the English side's involvement in the Heineken Cup.

The Falcons fielded eight players under 22 and their enthusiasm and commitment was without question.


We came up against some of the most skilful players in the world and our young players tired psychologically
Rob Andrew

But Ntamack, returning for his first European game this season, was in formidable form and he steered the home side into an unassailable 20-point lead.

The 32-year-old centre set Toulouse's game plan in motion in the opening five minutes.

Ntamack split the Newcastle defence and Michele Marfaing had the speed to score and then the composure to kick the conversion.

Playing for pride

Newcastle had begun the scoring with a penalty by Dave Walder - deputising at fly-half for the injured Jonny Wilkinson - but were stretched by the incisive running of the Toulouse backs.

Hooker Yannick Bru squeezed in at the corner flag and scrum half and man of the match Frederic Michalak then touched over for what looked like developing into a rout.


It will be much more difficult next week in Newcastle for the return
Toulouse captain Fabien Pelous
Newcastle managed to reduce the deficit with a Epi Taione try, which was successfully converted by Walder.

Toulouse then caught the Falcons with a cruel blow in first-half stoppage time when full-back Clement Poitreneau sold a fantastic dummy to let in winger Cedric Heymans.

Replacement scrum-half Hall Charlton, followed by Gareth McClure and Phil Dowson, put plenty of life into a 20-minute siege inside the Toulouse 22m zone after the break.

And only desperate kicking into touch by the Toulouse defenders kept the visitors at bay.

Then the French giants eased the pressure when Poitreneau cleverly kicked inside Richardson and Xavier Garbajosa had an easy run-in.

The defeat is Newcastle's third in succession, and despite being only halfway through the qualifying campaign, the north-east side now only have pride to play for.

Links to more Heineken Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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