Heineken Cup: Toulouse cemented top place in Pool Two after beating the Ospreys
Last Updated: 08/12/12 5:49pm
Toulouse cemented top place in Heineken Cup Pool Two with a routine 30-14 victory over Ospreys at Stade Ernest-Wallon.
The French giants - four-time winners of Europe's elite club competition - were too strong for their Welsh visitors with France No 8 Luis Picamoles particularly prominent as he laid on two of his side's five tries.
The hosts were out of the blocks quickly and claimed the game's first try as early as the eighth minute, when experienced centre Florian Fritz cruised through a gaping hole in the defence and trotted in under the posts.
In the 16th minute they were over again - although this time in slightly fortuitous circumstances when Ryan Jones attempted to flick a wayward Toulouse lineout towards his defence, only to provide Lewis Nyatanga with the easiest of finishes.
The Ospreys rallied before the interval, however, and livewire scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i seized the initiative and hustled over having taken a quick tap-penalty from close range to leave it 12-7 at the break.
The high Ospreys tackle count began to tell in the second period, and the strength of Picamoles was crucial in holding three tacklers at bay and off-loading to allow Vincent Clerc to finish in the corner with typical gusto; Luke McAlister's conversion striking the near post.
Just after the hour-mark, Picamoles again shrugged off three challenges - his back-door offload this time providing burly prop Census Johnston with a try in the same corner for the bonus point.
Toulouse were taking full advantage of some lacklustre Ospreys tackling heading into the final 10, and Yoann Huget bagged a five-pointer from a Maxime Medard break six minutes from time - although Jean-Marc Doussain was inaccurate with the conversion.
There was a consolation try for the visitors soon after when Justin Tipuric's excellent offload from the floor saw Ryan Bevington barge home, but Doussain's penalty at the death ensured Toulouse had the last word.
Heineken Cup week three 2012/13
Cardiff had their Heineken Cup hopes ended after falling to a third straight Pool Six loss at the hands of Montpellier.
Jonathan Humphreys praised the commitment and character shown by his Ospreys side after their 30-14 defeat by Toulouse.
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea refused to be carried away by the emphatic win over Zebre.
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