La Rochelle 17-22 Toulouse: Le Stade win record fifth European Champions Cup

By Sports Desk May 22, 2021

Toulouse won a record fifth European Champions Cup and their first since 2010 thanks to a 22-17 win over La Rochelle, who played much of the match a man light.

Both sides traded penalty blows during a feisty opening at Twickenham, with the scores level at 6-6 in the 27th minute thanks to Ihaia West's successful kick for La Rochelle.

But they suffered a massive setback just a few moments later as Levani Botia floored Maxime Medard with an ugly high hit.

As Botia walked off towards the sin-bin, the television match official ensured his punishment was upgraded to a red card, the first ever in a Champions Cup final.

Yet La Rochelle made it to the break with a 12-9 lead, with West's four kicks to Romain Ntamack's three the difference after a compelling – albeit brutal – first half.

West missed the target early in the second half, though, and Ntamack again evened the score as Toulouse started to up the ante.

La Rochelle were putting up a good fight with their 14 men but Toulouse finally got the match's first try with an hour played, Juan Cruz Mallia going over out wide after being fed by Selevasio Tolofua.

Toulouse looked to be coasting home as they went 22-12 up with the conversion, though a Tawera Kerr-Barlow try with five minutes to go made life a little nervy.

However, Toulouse held on to seal their fifth European crown and surpass Leinster on four, with La Rochelle's maiden appearance in a final ending in disappointment.

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