Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Toulouse player ratings vs Leinster | 2023/24 Champions Cup final

By Josh Raisey
Toulouse players, Blair Kinghorn, left, and Jack Willis celebrate after their side's victory in the Investec Champions Cup final between Leinster and Toulouse at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Player ratings: In a game that was a Test match in every way but in name, Leinster and Toulouse delivered a contest befitting the two most successful sides in Investec Champions Cup history in the final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the French side won their sixth title 31-22 in extra time.

ADVERTISEMENT

How Leinster’s only try came after 94 minutes is something that will baffle rugby historians for years to come, but this match will go down in the annals as one of the great defensive displays.

Both sides were brimming not only with Test stars, but some of the very best players on the planet, who were able to showcase why. Here’s how they rated:

Video Spacer

Walk the Talk – Ardie Savea Trailer | RPTV

All Blacks ace Ardie Savea chatted to Jim Hamilton in Japan, reflecting on the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now on RugbyPass TV

WATCH NOW

Video Spacer

Walk the Talk – Ardie Savea Trailer | RPTV

All Blacks ace Ardie Savea chatted to Jim Hamilton in Japan, reflecting on the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now on RugbyPass TV

WATCH NOW

15. Blair Kinghorn – 8
Got proceedings underway with a penalty from his own half. A Lung-busting try-saving tackle in the first half on Dan Sheehan meant his side miraculously could keep the lead going into the break. Though James Lowe’s try was ruled out before half time, the Scot suffered the ignominy of the Ireland wing’s right arm smashing him to the ground on the way to the line. His error count did creep up after an immaculate start, but this was an elite display. Four out of five kicks was a decent return from the boot, though Thomas Ramos took over the kicking duties after coming on.

14. Juan Cruz Mallia – 7
Experienced his most exciting moment of the game in the opening seconds when he dotted down for what was eventually a disallowed try. Though quiet, he was forced into some high-pressure defensive reads when Leinster had space in the wider channels. Moved into the centres for the latter stages and saw more action.

Fixture
Investec Champions Cup
Leinster
22 - 31
Full-time
Toulouse
All Stats and Data

13. Paul Costes – 7
The 21-year-old looked flustered by the occasion at times as his frenetic, wam-bam style manifested itself in different ways- throwing his body into some huge shots, but with errors as well.

12. Pita Ahki – 5
Left the field injured after 22 minutes, and hadn’t truly found his way into the game at that point with a couple of missed tackles to his name. Was caught at sea trying to field a Leinster kick-off but had his blushes spared as nothing came of the ensuing attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

11. Matthis Lebel – 8
Had the most clean breaks in the competition going into the match, but found it hard to add to his haul in a game where Toulouse seldom had the luxury of getting the ball to their wingers. Like Mallia, still commanded the wider channels well in defence.

Scored the match-winner in extra time just moments after Lowe had been yellow-carded, and needed to use every bit of his pace to race into the corner. Came to the fore in extra time.

10. Romain Ntamack – 9
Not a game for the Frenchman to unleash his attacking arsenal (although he did at times) but he showed his acumen the other side of the ball. A huge defensive contribution to rip the ball from Jason Jenkins’ arms and repel another Leinster attack in the opening quarter, but put his side under unnecessary pressure moments later with a wayward offload after fielding a kick in his own 22, which led to Leinster’s opening points. Then won a penalty at the breakdown to neutralise another Leinster onslaught ten minutes later. Showed his eclat with a perfectly weighted crossfield kick in the final quarter which Lebel was unable to score from.

9. Antoine Dupont – 10
Came close to setting up a try early on, which set the tone for a game in which the captain would typically have a major say. Saw the best and worst of Dupont in 30 seconds in the first half- a howler of an error put Sheehan in for what appeared to be a runaway try, but was able to track back and win a penalty just feet from his own line.

ADVERTISEMENT

Exocet missile of a kick brought a 50:22, which eventually led to Toulouse’s third penalty and added a second 50:20 to twist the knife in extra time. As good as any flanker over the ball, and showed it in the final minutes of regular time with a penalty won as Leinster hammered away just metres from Toulouse’s line.

Had a high error count for any player, let alone for his stratospherically high standards, which showed he is human after all. Nevertheless, great players produce moments of greatness when needed, and he did just that.

Player of the match, and crowned EPCR player of the year.

Match Summary

5
Penalty Goals
8
1
Tries
1
1
Conversions
1
0
Drop Goals
0
184
Carries
113
5
Line Breaks
5
18
Turnovers Lost
16
8
Turnovers Won
12

1. Cyril Baille – 7
Another cog in the red wall that were able to keep Leinster at bay for the hour he was on the field. Has had more impactful games with ball in hand, but still some trademark cute handling to link with his teammates.

2. Peato Mauvaka – 8
A defensive stalwart for Toulouse as his output in the first half was fundamental to his side somehow managing to cling onto their lead going into the break. An overthrown lineout in the first half only meant Toulouse were required to defend more. A sizeable 14 tackles when he left the field on 54 minutes, and kept Leinster try-less.

3. Dorian Aldegheri – 6
Had a great battle with Andrew Porter at scrum time. Won a penalty to bring Toulouse’s third penalty of the match in the first half, but the Ireland loosehead had him in trouble as well.

4. Thibaud Flament – 7
Like many of his teammates, the France lock was pivotal in curtailing a vast number of Leinster driving mauls.

5. Emmanuel Meafou – 7
Put his 145kg frame to good use at the breakdown and was able to cause a lot of problems for Leinster in that area, particularly after a defensive set on their own line early. Some deft handling in there as well.

6. Jack Willis – 10
A world-class display from the Englishman. Spearheaded the French outfit’s Herculean defensive display with a Dusatoir-esque performance, particularly in supplementing the effort to bring the fight to Leinster’s centres. Got his hands on Sheehan at a maul after 50 minutes to stave off another Leinster surge, in just one of his many contributions. Didn’t necessarily make any flashy runs, but took the ball to the line a lot.

A rival to Dupont for being the best player on the pitch- 29 tackles says it all.

Bittersweet for England fans watching to know a player of that class cannot don the white jersey.

7. François Cros – 8
Willis’ partner in crime in Toulouse’s legendary tackling masterclass. Was perhaps overshadowed by his fellow flanker, but that does not diminish how important he was.

8. Alexandre Roumat – 7
The quietest of the three Toulouse back rows but still had his moments, chiefly a lineout steal shortly after the half time break deep in his own 22. Got his hands dirty with a lot of the unseen work like kick chases.

Related

Replacements
16. Julien Marchand – 7
Was perhaps slightly slow to react for Josh van der Flier’s try in extra time, but redeemed himself with a penalty at the breakdown, in tandem with Willis, minutes later to give Toulouse a nine-point lead with five minutes remaining.

17. Rodrigue Neti – 7
More or less had one job once he came on and that was to tackle, and he did that.

18. Joel Merkler – 6
Was bettered by Porter in a crucial moment as Leinster were able to level late on to take the game to extra time.

19. Richie Arnold – 3
A red card for head contact at a ruck left his side under the cosh for the final ten minutes of extra time, but they were able to survive.

20. Joshua Brennan – N/A
Only had a ten-minute spell before being subbed off again going into extra time.

21. Paul Graou – N/A

22. Santiago Chocobares – 8
Came on in the first half and was immediately in the thick of it, with an endless stream of Leinstermen rampaging down his channel. Stood up to the challenge with aplomb.

23. Thomas Ramos – 7
Toulouse looked significantly more fluid in attack once Ramos joined the action. Wasn’t flawless from the tee, but nailed his high-pressure penalties. Struggled at times under the high ball but was overall influential from the bench.

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

14 Comments
N
Nikola 28 days ago

less than 8 for Flament, Meafou and Roumat is an abomination, especially when Lebel is given that rating after botching a try having a teammate alongside with just one defender against them

B
Bull Shark 28 days ago

So, had AD(P) not had that howler - would he have got an 11?

c
craig 29 days ago

Irish Choking is becoming so boring and common that Its not even fun laughing at them anymore.

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING Fissler Confidential: Saracens sign ex-England hooker as Leinster prop deal edges closer Fissler Confidential: Saracens sign ex-England hooker
Search