The victory for French giants marked their fifth win in a row in the competition, while it also ended the South African teams’ success in the tournament this weekend after the Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers won their matches to advance to the top eight.

The first half was riddled with handling errors in the slippery conditions, and despite both teams creating chances on attack, the only points scored were compliments of penalty goals with Toulouse fullback Thomas Ramos slotting over four to two by Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Chris Smith for a 12-6 lead.

Toulouse dominated the second half scoring three converted tries in 15 minutes, while they limited the Vodacom Bulls to a penalty goal for their efforts, and this saw the French side earn the convincing win.

Smith had the first say in the game with a penalty goal in first minute, but this was cancelled out minutes later as Ramos kicked back-to-back three-pointers within four minutes to take their lead to 6-3.

Toulouse created the most chances on attack in the half and managed to sneak close to the tryline on a few occasions, but mistakes at crucial times combined with a solid defensive effort by the men from Pretoria saw them struggle to get over the tryline.

Ramos extended the home side’s lead to six points with another penalty goal in the 18th minute, and several minutes later they had a numerical edge as Vodacom Bulls centre Harold Vorster received a yellow card after repeated infringements on defence, leaving them with 14 men for the closing stages of the half.

The French fullback slotted his fourth shot at goal with seven minutes left in the half, but this was cancelled out by Smith, who added his second a minute later, and with neither team able to add to their score, Toulouse entered the sheds 12-6 ahead.

The second half started on a similar note to the first half with Smith again kicking the first points thanks to a penalty goal to remain within striking range of the hosts on the scoreboard.

However, Toulouse’s determined efforts on attack eventually paid off in the 50th minute as lock Emmanuel Meafou forced his way over the tryline from some strong forward play and Ramos kept the scoreboard ticking with the successful conversion to stretch their lead to 19-9.

This bolstered their confidence immensely, as wing Matthis Lebel broke through on the outside four minutes later to score in the corner, and they added their third try in the 64th minute when replacement flank Thibaud Flament pounced on the ball over the chalk to nudge them into an encouraging 33-9 lead.

The hosts kept on fighting until the final whistle, but were unable to convert their chances into points, which saw them wrap up the match with the convincing win.


Stade Toulousain 33 (12) - Tries: Emmanuel Meafou, Matthis Lebel, Thibaud Flament. Conversions: Thomas Ramos (3). Penalty goals: Ramos (4).

Vodacom Bulls 9 (6) - Penalty goals: Chris Smith (3).