After a bruising contest in Dublin, Toulouse backrow Rynhardt Elstadt admits Leinster were the French side’s most physical challenge this season.
Leinster secured a bonus win over the visiting French side at the RDS and maybe, more importantly, revenge against the team to hand them their only loss in the competition so far this season.
The 6’6, 117kg forward is normally to be found in the second row for the Top 14 giants, but lined in the No.7 in what was a heavyweight pack sent into battle in Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup. The formidable Toulouse pack weighed in at roughly 950kg, with former All Blacks’ tighthead Charlie Faumuina tipping the scales at 143kg.
“It was definitely our most physical game of the season,” said Elstadt, who hails from Johannesburg in South Africa.
“They’re right up there,” replied the South African when asked where he saw Leinster in terms of this year’s European competition. “They’re definitely the team to beat.”
In a gripping first half, Toulouse appeared to be winning the physical contest with the Dublin based side, but Leinster drew away in a vintage second-half performance.
Elstadt also dismissed the suggestion that Toulouse might have been relieved to see some of Leinster’s big guns missing from the matchday 23.
“The next guy on the pitch is just as good. If you want a test of character, that’s the team [Leinster] to play against.”
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