Kolbe double sends Toulouse into semis

NAMPA/AFP

Cheslin Kolbe dotted down twice in the first half before the floodgates opened as Antoine Dupont, Pita Ahki and Thomas Ramos crossed in the final half an hour of play.

The record four-time champions will head to Exeter Chiefs after they overcame Northampton Saints 38-15 later in the day for the English Premiership leaders’ maiden semi-final appearance.

Stay disciplined

“Play-off games are about discipline and the team that wants it the most and sticks to their game plan. I must give credit to the boys for doing just that, keeping it simple,” Kolbe told broadcaster France Televisions. “Whenever there are opportunities for us to do things we have to make sure we use those opportunities, so I’m just proud of the boys,” he added. Kolbe opened the scoring after just three minutes but with Ramos struggling with his kicking, Toulouse was unable to break down the obdurate Ulster defence.

Teamwork

Kolbe, however, touched down for a second try just before the break and second half tries from scrum-half Dupont, centre Ahki and full-back Ramos closed out a comfortable win.

John Cooney added a late consolation try for Ulster. It is the 11th time that four-time champions Toulouse have reached this stage of European rugby’s top competition.

At Sandy Park, the Saints handed a first senior start to teenager Emmanuel Iyogun with four loose-head props out with injury.

Jacques Vermeulen touched down twice as Jack Maunder, Jack Nowell and Jonny Hill scored for the hosts.

Teimana Harrison and Fraser Dingwall dotted down for the visitors.

In the other last four tie Racing 92 will host Saracens in six days’ time after they overcame Clermont and Leinster on Saturday.