Rugby Union: Flowing Toulouse emerge victorious: New experience for Bath

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The Independent Online
Bath . . . . .9

Toulouse. . .23

IF ANYONE is worthy of facing the best of Bath it is surely one of French rugby's greatest institutions. But such is the relentless grip of the Courage Championship that the champions went into last night's friendly against the fabled Stade Toulousain with only three of those who had knocked Wasps out of the cup last Saturday.

Small wonder the Recreation Ground was rather less en fete than it had been then, or that the shadow home XV - promoted locally as 'emerging Bath' - should have lost. At least the fixture, the fifth time they have played Toulouse in five years, showed that the club's vision is not confined to a pint of Courage and the game had significance for the experience it gave members of Bath's next generation.

But for missed kicks by Andy Webber and Haydn Long, Bath could even have won. As is the way when French sides are refereed by Anglo-Saxons Ashley Reay's penalties against them flowed as freely as their rugby and their replacements.

Bath's greatest peril came from Carbonneau's centre pairing with the international Christophe Deylaud, especially when Hugo Mola was eating up the ground from full-back. These three created the first try, Deylaud giving an

exquisite short pass to Mola and receiving the return before linking with Carbonneau.

Bath presented Toulouse with the opportunity for the second when Audley Lumsden's pass was intercepted by Deylaud but it then required another perfectly precise pass to send Carbonneau away. For good measure Carbonneau frere, scrum-half Philippe, scored a more banal third try from a pushover

towards the end.

Bath: Penalties Long 2, Webber.

Toulouse: Tries O Carbonneau 2, P Carbonneau; Conversion Mola; Penalties Deylaud 2.

Bath: A Lumsden; M Lloyd, H Long, E Rayner, M Woodman; A Webber, R Hill (capt); D Hilton, C Atkins, D Crompton, C Yandell, P McCoy, S Ojomoh, E Peters, N Maslen.

Toulouse: H Mola; C Legrand, C Deylaud (N Barre, 73), O Carbonneau (D Darricarrere, 55), D Berty; T Castaignede, P Carbonneau; P Diniz (P Pueyo, 52), P Lasserre (C Guiter, 40), C Califano, H Miorin, J-M Cadieu (D Foltrand, 40), J-L Cester, A Cigagna (capt), R Sonnes (D Lacroix, 64).

Referee: A Reay (Frome).