Livescore Sunday, May 19
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Five-time champions Toulouse booked their place in the semi-finals of the Investec Champions Cup as they disposed of visiting Exeter Chiefs with a nine-try 64-26 victory at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

The French giants were made to fight in an end-to-end first half, but in the end their vast European experience proved too much for Rob Baxter’s youthful side, who were denied the opportunity of an all-English semi-final with Harlequins.

Going with an unchanged starting line-up from that which defeated Bath in the last 16, it was the Chiefs who started on the front foot, taking the lead inside five minutes when Henry Slade slotted them in front with a penalty just metres from the home try-line.

That early lead, however, lasted just a matter of minutes as Toulouse claimed the game’s opening score when a burst down the left flank from Matthis Lebel carved the opening for Romain Ntamack to glide over for the try, converted by Blair Kinghorn.

A second Slade penalty kept the visitors firmly in the hunt, before fellow England international Ethan Roots got the Chiefs back in front once more, thundering his way over from a crafty tap penalty move to claim their opening score, which Slade was able to add the extras to.

Kinghorn and Slade exchanged successful penalties apiece as the Chiefs continued to keep their more illustrious hosts at bay. But, as half-time approached, it was the French side who clawed their way back in front.

Fixture

Investec Champions Cup

Toulouse

Exeter Chiefs

Centre Pita Ahki was the architect, his powerful run shaking off the attentions of Josh Hodge, before he fed the ball to former Wasps forward Jack Willis, who steamrollered his way over Harvey Skinner for the converted score.

Although there was little to choose between the sides at the turn, it was Toulouse who came out firing in the second period. Playing with advantage just minutes into the half, the hosts used their powerful pack to punch their way into enemy territory, the fruits of which allowed Kinghorn to find his way over for the score he also converted.

Worse was to follow just moments later as Ahki was able to race over for their fourth score, the centre given the freedom of the field as he finished off a brilliant switch back to Lebel, who picked his spot between Chiefs duo Jack Yeandle and Marcus Street.

The quick one-two from Toulouse had left the Chiefs reeling, but they were floored by a knockout double as first Kinghorn finished off a stunning back move in the right corner, before the dangerous Antoine Dupont got in on the scoring act, sidestepping his way over the whitewash for another converted score.

22m Entries

To their credit, the Chiefs refused to go quietly, claiming a consolation score when youngster Zack Wimbush was able to power his way through the middle following a five-metre line-out.

That would, however, be a rare highlight in a second half dominated by Toulouse, who wrapped up their victory with tries in the final quarter from Ahki and two from Juan Cruz Mallia.



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