Leinster v Toulouse: Remembering The Thrilling Win That Kick-Started Leinster In Europe

Leinster v Toulouse: Remembering The Thrilling Win That Kick-Started Leinster In Europe

On April Fool's Day 2006, Leinster pulled several tricks from their bag and stunned reigning European Champions Toulouse in a Heineken Cup quarter-final.

It is a win viewed as the starting point for the European success which has followed for the province.

Leinster played some sensational rugby that day with the combination of Felipe Contepomi, Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan especially potent.

It was those three who connected for the first of Leinster's four tries on the day. Contempomi found Horgan running a great line and was there again to take the return pass from his winger.

As the Argentine was tackled, Brian O'Driscoll arrived at the perfect moment to take the offload and burst towards the French side's line.

Into the break, Leinster took a 19-9 lead but Toulouse - kept in the game by Jean-Baptiste √Člissalde's boot - were looking dangerous until a catastrophic moment from Freddie Michalak.

As the out-half was tackled by Keith Gleeson inside his own 22, Michalak threw the ball straight into the arms of Leinster's Cameron Jowitt. The Aucklander cantered over for his side's second try.


Leinster's third try is the stuff of legend. After, withstanding heavy pressure from the home side, Leinster countered from near their own line with Contepomi going wide to Denis Hickie.

The winger flew by Fabien Pelous, exchanged passes with Gordon D'Arcy, and then made for the corner, touching down for a famous try.

Shane Horgan added a fourth try for Leinster and Toulouse hit back with two tries in the last ten minutes but it wasn't enough. Leinster won 41-35, inflicting the first home European defeat on Toulouse in six seasons.

That same day, Munster defeated Perpignan at Lansdowne Road. The victories set up the first ever all-Irish European semi-final.

Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

SEE ALSO: Ireland's 2010 U20 Six Nations Winners: Where Are They Now?

PJ Browne
Article written by
Kerryman. Write mostly about Gaelic games and athletics. Did not win a 2008 NBA title with the Boston Celtics.

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