Gloucester 34-24 Toulouse, Heineken Cup
Redpath delights in famous win
January 20, 2012
Luke Narraway shone for Gloucester but it was the youngsters that Bryan Redpath picked out for praise post-match © PA Photos
Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath hailed the youngsters in his squad after their impressive 34-24 win over Toulouse at Kingsholm on Friday evening.
Four-time European champions Toulouse, though, still progress to the quarter-finals as Pool Six winners after Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins lost by a point against Connacht in Galway. "It was a great performance," said Redpath. "We knew they had picked a big, physical side and we showed them a lot of respect. I thought numbers one to 23 - our substitutes that came on made a big difference as well - were great.
"I am delighted for the boys because we finished off the Heineken Cup in style."
Fullback Jonny May led the way with a try double, while England wing Charlie Sharples and Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera also crossed and fly-half Freddie Burns booted 14 points. Wing Timoci Matanavou touched down twice for the visitors, with skipper Thierry Dusautoir scoring early on and fly-half Lionel Beauxis adding three conversions and a penalty.
But Toulouse were outplayed by a Gloucester team that despite already being eliminated from the quarter-final equation, blew them apart. Young backs like May, Sharples and Burns had a field day, performing with a thrilling sense of adventure and creativity which had Toulouse's stamp all over it.
Redpath added: "Freddie has been improving over the past six or seven weeks, and he has been learning to do things other than the fancy stuff. In general terms, he controlled the game pretty well. Jonny is in the top two try-scorers in the Premiership, and he has probably scored a few in the Heineken and LV= Cup. With Charlie [Sharples] as well, our back three were dangerous tonight.
"The Premiership is now our main goal because we lose 11 players on Monday to international duties in different teams, and that has a knock-on with a small squad. Northampton here in three weeks' time is a massive game for us now, because the Premiership is so important and to get in that top six.
"We are up in the top four try-scorers in the Premiership, but we are not playing with as much freedom as we did out there today."
Gloucester delivered comfortably their best performance of the campaign, although it was too little too late in terms of this season's Heineken Cup following home and away defeats to Quins after losing in Toulouse.
"They bullied us in the first 20 minutes with a couple of drives and scrums, but we knew if we played at the right tempo we would come through, which we did," Redpath said.
Gloucester prevailed despite conceding three tries and seeing prop Nick Wood sin-binned in the first minute. By the end, Toulouse had conceded more points than at any other time in their last 41 Heineken Cup games, stretching back to 2007.
"It was the worst possible start we could have had, and there were two defensive errors for Toulouse's tries in the first-half, but you have to enjoy tonight," Redpath added.
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