As is often the case, Stade Toulouse is there when it comes time for European matches. Sunday April 7, Antoine Dupont and his teammates qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup − the most prestigious European competition, in which South African teams also participate −, defeating Racing 92 (31- 7). Long pushed around, the Toulouse side widened the gap little by little, in the wake of their opener Romain Ntamack, starting for the first time since the serious knee injury which deprived him of the 2023 World Cup.

In an Ernest-Wallon stadium bathed in sunlight, the locals did not take long to catch the light. From the sixth minute, hooker Peato Mauvaka finished his race in the goal after a ball carefully organized by his teammates. But instead of a Toulouse festival, the rest of the events amounted to a revolt of Ile-de-France residents, led by a lively Gaël Fickou. His teammate Max Spring even thought he had flattened in turn (19th), but the try was ultimately refused after video refereeing.

Racing 92 didn’t know it yet, but they had just missed their chance. Suddenly more precise, the Toulouse residents adjusted their passes, their races and their game launches, leading to an achievement by Matthis Lebel (34th), imitated upon returning from the locker room by centers Paul Costes (56th) and Pita Ahki (69th) . “We’re making a big start to the match against the wind. We are very serious, very disciplined. We managed to get to 10-0 at the break and we knew that with the wind, it was going to be easier in the second half,” considered coach Ugo Mola, speaking to France Télévisions, at the whistle. final.

A revenge as a quarter-final

Despite the late reaction of the visitors, symbolized by the try of the pillar Eddy Ben Arous (75th), the third row of the stadium Alexandre Roumat was responsible for putting an end to the meeting, after a balancing act with ball in hand by Thibaud Flament (80th). The Rouge et Noir thus join Bordeaux-Bègles and La Rochelle, the two other French clubs still in the competition.

Thanks to this success, Ugo Mola’s men have the right to face Exeter in the quarter-finals on Sunday April 14. A revenge for the Haut-Garonnais: they were eliminated by this same team in the semi-final of the 2020 edition, before the English lifted the trophy. This time, Toulouse will have the advantage of hosting the match, a privilege acquired thanks to their good performance during the group stage (four wins, no defeats). “We now have experience of this competition, we know that we must not get carried away. There are still several matches to go. We saw Exeter’s performance, we know it’s going to be a big game! », recalled Ugo Mola.

The quarter-finals of the Champions Cup

Saturday April 13

4 p.m.: Bordeaux-Bègles – Harlequins (England)

6:30 p.m.: Leinster (Ireland) – La Rochelle

9 p.m.: Northampton (Eng) – Bulls (South Africa)

Sunday April 14

4 p.m.: Toulouse – Exeter (England)