Gloucester 34 Toulouse 24: Magic May runs the show in famous victory
Gloucester stunned French champions Toulouse thanks to their group of speedsters led by Jonny May and Charlie Sharples.
May scored two tries and Sharples one as Gloucester finished the Heineken Cup pool games in euphoric mood at Kingsholm.
Gloucester finished third in Pool Six and must now concentrate on the Aviva Premiership but Toulouse, despite the defeat, still qualified for the quarter-finals as pool winners following Harlequins’ shock defeat.
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‘That was a great performance,’ Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath said. ‘We knew they had picked a strong team but I thought everyone, including all the subs, made a difference. They were a credit.’
Sharples and May showed why they will be playing for England teams in the next month. Sharples, a candidate for the Calcutta Cup on February 4, made one first-half try for flanker Akapusi Qera followed by his own classic second-half effort which had 13,077 fans on their feet.
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May played a part in that 47th-minute try, converted by Freddie Burns, who contributed 14 points in all, and that score put Gloucester 21-17 ahead.
Toulouse had been 17-14 up at the break thanks to tries from captain Thierry Dusautoir and wing Timoci Matanavou, both converted by Lionel Beauxis, who added a penalty.
Burns put Gloucester 24-17 ahead through a penalty, only for Toulouse to draw level via Matanavou’s second touchdown.
Speed demons: May (second right) and Sharples (right) starred in the win
But Burns edged Gloucester ahead again, and May galloped away six minutes from time after James Simpson-Daniel had broken the initial cover.
May’s next stop is the Saxons clash against Ireland at Exeter a week on Saturday.