Shorn of stars and inspiration, Toulouse suffer first home loss in two years

Toulouse (France) (AFP) –


Toulouse, deprived of their French internationals and of inspiration, on Saturday lost at home for the first time in more than two years as they fell 16-7 to Lyon in the Top 14.

It was a first home defeat for Toulouse since a loss to Castres in September 2018.

France were playing Wales later on Saturday, and although the French rugby federation and the clubs reached a deal limiting call-ups for the autumn internationals, Toulouse were still depleted, particularly in the backs.

Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack and Thomas Ramos were on duty for France while Yoann Huget, Maxime Medard and Cheslin Kolbe were out injured.

The lack of inspiration was clear as Toulouse failed to score until young scrum half Theo Idjellidaine touched down after a quickly-taken penalty with 10 minutes left and the game already out of reach.

Fijian winger Josua Tuisova gave Lyon the lead after 28 minutes with his sixth try of the season. Jean-Marc Doussain converted and added three penalties.

The victory lifted Lyon to third while Toulouse were deposed from the top of the table as Clermont thrashed Pau 50-29, scoring six of the 10 tries in the match.

In the Paris derby, Maxime Machenaud converted Henry Chavancy's try with seven minutes left to put Racing 92 ahead at Stade Fracais and the visitors held on to win 27-25.