Nyanga's late show gets Toulouse out of jail
Yannick Nyanga, the forgotten man of French rugby, reminded everybody of his stunning talent in a sodden San Sebastian with a man of the match performance and winning try in extra-time.
Toulouse let a commanding 17-0 half-time slip after the break and ultimately were lucky to force extra-time against a valiant but wasteful Biarritz team. Right at the death however, the four-time winners stirred themselves and their old cup instincts prevailed. Just.
Yesterday, it was all pretty routine for Toulouse for the first 40 minutes. Having weathered a lively opening burst from Biarritz, Cedric Heymans powered over for a classy converted try, Maxime Medard added a second and David Skrela slotted a penalty to make it 17-0. Home and hosed.
Not quite. Biarritz kept plugging away and the pressure told as the ultra-reliable Dimitri Yachvilli slotted four penalties.
With one minute left Fijian wing Ilikena Bolakoro raced into the corner. Yachvilli lined up the conversion but for once was found wanting. Extra-time it was.
Each side swapped a penalty apiece but Toulouse were still effectively in the lead on tries scored. It was then that Nyanga struck to score after a charge-down, finishing off with a Chris Ashton-style dive. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Biarritz -- I Balshaw; T Ngwenya, M Bosch, C Gimenz, I Bolakoro; J Peyrelongue, D Yachvilli; E Coetzee, R Terrain, S Marconnet; J Thion, E Lund; M Lund, I Harinordoquy, R Lakafia. Reps: C Johnston for Marconnet (57), P Taele for Lund (76), A Mignardi for Gimenz (80), J Afao for Coetzee (70), W Lauret for Lakafia (70), E Guinazo for Terrain (90).
Toulouse -- C Heymans; V Clerc, F Fritz, C Poitrenaud, M Medard; D Skrela, D Bezy; D Human, W Servat, C Johnston; R Millo-Chluski, P Albacete; J Bouilhou, S Nicolas, L Picamoles. Reps: Y Nyanga for Nicolas (38), J-P Poux for Human (54), Y Maestri for Millo-Chluski (54), V Lacombe for Servat (76), Y Montes for Johnston (68), G Lamboley for Picamoles (78).
Ref -- W Barnes (RFU).