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Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Sunday, 10 October 2010 18:37 UK

Toulouse 18-16 Wasps

Toulouse (9) 18
Pens: Skrela 6
Wasps (9) 16
Try: Lemi Con: Walder Pens: Walder 2 Drop-goal: Walder

Richard Birkett of Wasps (centre) gathers the ball
Wasps were minutes away from causing an upset on the opening weekend

Heineken Cup holders Toulouse were pushed all the way before narrowly beating Wasps in south west France.

Wasps fly-half David Walder missed a late penalty which would have earned the visitors an unexpected victory.

Three David Skrela penalties, to two Walder penalties and a drop-goal, made it 9-9 at half-time.

Skrela added two further penalties to make it 15-9 and although David Lemi's converted try put Wasps in front, a sixth Skrela penalty saw Toulouse home.

The match was played in heavy rain and the greasy conditions almost helped Wasps take a shock lead inside 68 seconds.

Ben Jacobs hacked ahead but the ball spiralled out of play before the centre could lay his hands on it.


However, Wasps did go into the lead in the fourth minute courtesy of a Walder penalty from close range.

Both sides were unable to find any cohesion in the wet but Toulouse levelled on 11 minutes when fly-half Skrela fired home a routine penalty.

Wasps fly-half Walder quickly replied with his second successful kick before Skrela was fortunate when his next effort hit the bar and bounced over to tie the scores at 6-6.

After a ragged opening quarter, Toulouse stepped up the intensity and should have grabbed the first try of the match on 24 minutes, only for full-back Clement Poitrenaud to drop the ball with the try-line at his mercy after a sweeping attack from the hosts.

Skrela saw his previous good luck desert him when he crashed another penalty against the left up-right but he made no mistake to put the French giants ahead for the first time on 31 minutes.

Wasps refused to buckle and after a quick tap penalty by skipper Tom Rees, Walder calmed slotted home a fine drop-goal to make it all square at the interval at 9-9.

Toulouse dominated possession for large periods in the second half but they were forced to wait until the hour mark to regain the lead, when Skrela landed his fourth penalty.

Skrela's fifth penalty extended the hosts' lead to six points before the game's major talking point occurred in the 66th minute.

A great chip ahead by Walder was allowed to bounce by Toulouse full-back Poitrenaud.

That gave Lemi the time to hack the ball ahead and apply enough downwards pressure to persuade the video referee to award the try.

The decision infuriated both the players and the crowd, who jeered referee George Clancy. Walder paid no heed to them and converted to make it 16-15.

Toulouse recovered to retake the lead eight minutes from the final whistle as an inspired Skrela once again converted a penalty from distance.

Wasps had a final opportunity to win the match but Walder for once was found wanting as his penalty drifted wide of the left hand post.

Wasps head coach Tony Hanks:
"There's real disappointment in our changing room. We came here to win and didn't just come here to make up the numbers.

"There were some special moments such as David's try and the way we kept hold of the ball.

"And we were excellent in defence for the second week in a row but Toulouse are a quality side and they just kept coming at us.

"But I'm really proud of the players. What we need to make sure of is that people aren't just talking about what we did in round one. We have to kick on next week [at home to Glasgow] because we still want to qualify from this pool."

Toulouse manager Guy Noves:
"I think that we proved that being patient paid off against a Wasps side who today deserved to win as much as we did.

"Our calmness in the last 15 minutes permitted us to get back and score three precious points, whereas Wasps had the same opportunity but were not able to capitalise on it."

Toulouse: Poitrenaud; Clerc, Fritz, Jauzion, Heymans; Skrela, Kelleher; Poux, Servat, Johnston, Lamboley, Millo-Chluski, Nyanga, Dustautoir, Sowerby.

Replacements: Medard for Heymans (60), Human for Poux (65), Lacombe for Servat (61), Maestri for Lamboley (51), Picamoles for Nyanga (64).

Not Used: Montes, Bezy, Vergallo.

Wasps: Van Gisbergen; Haughton, Jacobs, Waldouck, Varndell; Walder, Simpson; Taulafo, Ward, Broster, Shaw, Birkett, Worsley, Rees, Powell, Hobson.

Replacements: Lemi for Haughton (57), Berry for Simpson (68), Webber for Ward (45), Hobson for Broster (45), Cannon for Birkett (57), Ward-Smith for Worsley (79), Beech for Hobson (78).

Not Used: Flutey.

Att: 17,962

Ref: George Clancey (RFU).

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see also
Sale 24-25 Wasps
01 Oct 10 |  English
Rugby union commentaries
09 Sep 10 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup 2010/11
29 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union

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