Wasps fall agonisingly short after Walder misses last-gasp penalty

Toulouse 18 Wasps 16

Sepp Blatter may not want it, but sometimes justice should be seen to be done, and none would agree more with that than David Lemi. Seven minutes after coming on as a substitute in the second half of a less than pulsating Heineken Cup game he beat a man with nightmare memories of European games against Wasps, Clément Poitrenaud, to win the chase for a touchdown under the posts.

Toulouse carried on playing, the raw-boned faithful thought they had got away with it and then referee George Clancy stopped the game. Two huge screens were showing the replay of what was clearly a try, and when the redoubtable Dave Walder slotted the conversion, Wasps, the bête noire et jaune of every Toulouse fan, were ahead with 15 minutes to go. The memory of that 77-17 defeat at Loftus Road in 1996 just won't go away.

Neither fairy tales nor horror stories come that easily, though, and it was left to David Skrela – whose father, Jean-Claude, played so magnificently in a distinguished back row that included Jean-Pierre Rives – who hoisted his penalty tally to six, including one that bounced off the crossbar, and with it the winning points. Wasps, at least, were left with the consolation of a loser's bonus point.

Rain and wind are familiar features of the Garonne Valley, so for the French to blame the quality of the first half on "British" weather was, as the French themselves might say, a little insouciant. There was a lot of rain, and Wasps were crucially let down by a lack of preparation in the scrum, which was exactly the area where Toulouse wanted to dominate. Most scrums were never completed but, please, "Crouch, touch, pause, engage" should not involve a pause long enough for a cup of tea.

Toulouse may be lying second in the domestic Top 14 championship, but the record so far is a symmetrical won two, drawn one and lost two. The draw with Brive was a last-gasp affair and losses to Castres and Montpellier revealed weaknesses. The last win at home, over the league leaders Racing Metro, had seen Racing take a second-half grip, not least among the forwards. Hence the cat and mouse games, especially in the front row, for most of the first-half scrums here. Also, the Toulouse coach, Guy Noves, had spent all the week emphasising the need for stomach and hunger. He has yet to put together back-to-back European championships.

"I think we played with passion and patience," said Noves afterwards. "They deserved praise, like us, and they could also have taken the four points. But we also worked on the scrum problems from last week and we prepared differently for this European Cup." But he still thinks that every new season starts at zero and wants stomach for work and hunger for victory.

A last- ditch opportunity to snatch victory in the dying minutes fell to Walder, who had at least varied his three-points-a-time march by landing a drop goal. But the penalty just inside the Toulouse half, and under intense pressure, proved just too much, especially as he had taken a knock only moments earlier. Wasps' director of rugby, Tony Hanks, said he had been brave enough to take it at all – which is what matters. "Dave is beating himself up enough," he said. "We share the good moments and we share the bad."

Simon Shaw, Wasps' veteran lock, said: "It was small technical aspects that let us down. We were always aware that the scrum would be a key area, but we had too little time to train as a group."

Noves has a larder of talent that would feed three British teams and he can afford to take a gamble such as the signing of Rupeni Caucaunibuca, just known as Caucau. The Fijian could, if Noves can control him, once again be an explosive force in the domestic Top 14 championship. If he turns up; if he trains; if he can keep his weight at the lower end of its 110 to 130kg fluctuations. A 130kg winger? Toulouse, it seems, have it all.

Toulouse: Penalties Skrela (6). Wasps: Try Lemi; Conversion Walder; Penalties Walder (2); Drop goal Walder.

Toulouse: C Poitrenaud; V Clerc, F Fritz, Y Jauzion, C Heymans (M Medard, 60); D Skrela, B Kelleher; J-B Poux (D Human, W Servat (V Lacombe, 61), C Johnston, G Lamboley (Y Maestri, 51), R Millo-Chluski, Y Nyangarep L Picamole, 65), T Dusautoir (capt), S Sowerby.

Wasps: M van Gisbergen; R Haughton (D Lemi, 57), B Jacobs, D Waldouck, T Varndell; D Walder, J Simpson (N Berry, 67); Z Taulafo, J Ward (R Webber, 45), B Broster (J Hobson, 45, rep C Beech, 78), S Shaw, R Birkett (J Cannon, 57), J Worsley (D Ward-Smith, 79), T Rees (capt), A Powell.

Referee G Clancy (Ireland).

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices