Toulouse on fire after Soula cooler

Toulouse 36 Cardiff 20

Despite being a man short for almost an hour, Toulouse repeated their European Cup final victory over Cardiff last season to remind challengers that they remain the club to beat. But it was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from the champions, who had their hooker, Patrick Soula, sent off in the 24th minute.

Toulouse so lost their composure in a violent first half that it seemed Cardiff would gain revenge for last season's 21-18 defeat at the Arms Park but the brilliance of the French centre Thomas Castaignede, who scored one of his side's four tries and kicked 10 points, was finally enough to overcome a weary Cardiff, who were playing their third European tie in eight days.

Pool D is living up to the "Group of Death" label but for 40 minutes it appeared Toulouse were willing to give an old tag a new slant by committing suicide. Seemingly forgetful of the fact they beat the Welsh club back in January by virtue of their superior rugby, the French appeared intent on taking a more violent approach. Soula, their shaven-headed hooker, took the brunt of the battle upon himself. He was warned, along with several other forwards, after the second huge punch-up in only the sixth minute of the game. He took no notice of the Scottish referee, Ray Megson, and quickly earned a yellow card for kicking Cardiff's full-back, Justin Thomas, in the back as he lay on the ground.

By that stage Toulouse were leading 5-3 after Castaignede had scythed through for a wonderful individual try following an early penalty for Cardiff's 20-year-old flyhalf Lee Jarvis. Soula was then spotted by a touch judge punching and kicking another Cardiff forward to earn an instant dismissal in the 24th minute. Even then he seemed reluctant to go without one final bout as he turned on his team-mate Christophe Deylaud before being dragged off.

Cardiff hung on for a 12-11 lead at the break thanks to the faultless kicking of Jarvis, but during the second half it was the Cardiff forwards who faded and their numerical advantage counted for little against the tight support play and quick rucking of the home pack.

Emile Ntamack put Toulouse ahead in the 51st minute after the full-back Ougier had danced through the ponderous Cardiff forwards in a blindside run. Within five minutes the Welsh club were further behind as the left wing David Berty collected the first of his two tries.

Cardiff rallied enough for their centre Gareth Jones to squeeze in for a try but a drop goal from Deylaud restored Toulouse's healthy advantage, and when Berty shrugged aside Nigel Walker for his second try their victory was complete.

Toulouse: S Ougier; E Ntamack (capt), M Marfaing, T Castaignede, D Berty; C Deylaud, J Tilloles; C Califano, P Soula, J Jordana, F Bellot, H Miorin, D Lacroix (M Marfaign, 71), S Dispagne, H Manent.

Cardiff: J Thomas; S Hill, M Hall, G Jones, N Walker; L Jarvis, R Howley; L Mustoe, J Humphreys, D Young, J Wakeford, D Jones, H Taylor (capt), E Lewis, M Bennett ( J Ringer, 72)

Referee: R Megson (Scotland).

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
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
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone