Sexton sinks Toulouse

Seven penalties by Jonathan Sexton earned Racing Métro a semi-final clash against Toulon in the Top 14 on Friday.

The Ireland No 10, who has had a difficult time at Racing and who was involved in a training ground bust-up with team-mate Juandré Kruger on Thursday, kept his cool to convert from all parts of the field at every opportunity and help beat Toulouse 21-16 on their ground for the first time in 13 matches. It is the first time in 21 years that Toulouse have not made the semi-finals.

Sexton had given Racing a 12-3 lead at half-time, thanks largely to his forwards' dominance, but Toulouse came back immediately afterwards with a well-worked try by Hosea Gear. But the home team's indiscipline allowed Sexton to keep up the pressure throughout. Jean Marc Doussain, moved to flyhalf to accommodate Jano Vermaak at No 9, missed two straight-forward penalties that would have given his side a chance in the final quarter, but Toulouse never showed the fire-power to warrant a win.

Clermont meet Castres on Saturday for the right to meet Montpellier in the second semi-final.

Toulouse – Try: Hosea Gear. Conversion: Jean Marc Doussain. Penalties: Doussain (3).
Racing Métro – Penalties: Jonathan Sexton (7).

Toulouse – 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Luke Mcalister, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Jean Marc Doussain, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Yacouba Camara 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Cyril Baille.
Subs: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Joe Tekori , 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Timoci Matanavou, 21 Gael Fickou, 22 Akapusi Qera, 23 Yohann Montes.

Racing Métro – 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Bernard le Roux. 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Subs: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Fabrice Metz, 19 Wenceslas Lauret, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Benjamin Fall, 23 Brian Mujati.

Photo: Remi Gabalda/AFP Photo