Two of the losing sides from Round 6 cross swords this week when Toulouse travel to Stade Jean-Bouin and attempt to make amends against Stade Francais.
Toulouse were the victims of a major upset last week, going down 16-7 to Lyon at Stade Ernest Wallon. What the home side expected to be an easy game swiftly turned into a nightmare for them as Lyon showed relentless intent from the get-go. The half-time score read 10-0 to the visitors and those in the stands expecting a very different second stanza were sorely mistaken as Lyon continued their dominance. The only time Toulouse looked threatening was in the final ten minutes when they appeared to have finally unearthed control of the match, but it was too little too late.
The famous Paris derby ended with the victors’ cap placed on the heads of Racing 92 after they pipped Stade Francais in a Round 6 encounter worthy of the occasion. Racing led 11-6 at the break but Stade wasted little time in pulling back the lead when Tolu Latu cantered over for the first score of the second half. Stade then systematically chipped away at their opponents, eventually creating an 11-point advantage going into the final quarter but Racing were far from done. A penalty and a try from the visitors made it a 1-point game with seven minutes to play. As the ball left Kylan Hamdaoui’s boot and flew through the uprights, Stade thought they had sealed it, but a Racing penalty shortly thereafter made it a 2-point ball game with 80 minutes in the clock. After some indiscretion from the home team, Racing were handed their final opportunity as fly-half Antoine Gibert stepped up to the mark and slotted a final penalty to give his side victory after a great display from both outfits.
Toulouse, despite their loss last round, are somewhat higher on the current pecking order than Stade Francais, the former in third spot behind La Rochelle and Clermont and the latter in tenth with just two victories from five outings.
Round 7 has very possibly left its best for last with this fixture as it has all the makings of a cracker. Toulouse will have been shaken up by their last Round 6 encounter and brought back down to earth after some complacency evidently infiltrated their ranks. The result could be a Toulouse outfit at its best – always a joy to behold – against a very capable Stade team whose frustration with a sub-par campaign will be cultivating a steely desire for victory of which they require more.