Toulouse have 'little hope' for Munster trip

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 11:43
Large florianfritztoulouse

EUROPEAN CUP SPOTLIGHT:: Already needing a "miracle" to reach the Top 14 play-offs, Toulouse travel to Munster for Saturday's European Champions Cup quarter-final admitting they have faint hope of progressing.

It's been a difficult start to 2017 for Toulouse, losing five of their last six league matches and dropping to 10th in the French Top 14 - only the top six qualify for the end of season play-offs.

They only just scraped into the Champions Cup quarter-finals by denying Connacht a losing bonus point in their final pool match.

And now they return to Thomond Park for the first time since a 47-23 quarter-final mauling by Munster three years ago.

"We're not in denial. Our league difficulties haven't put us in the best shape to contest a European Champions Cup quarter-final," admitted coach Ugo Mola.

"The way we've played these last few weeks obviously leaves little hope for the final result,"

Centre Florian Fritz said Toulouse will have to considerably raise their game to retain any hope of progressing to the semi-finals.

And he hasn't forgotten the last trip to Limerick.

"We competed for an hour and then we capitulated and finished up conceding 40 points," he said.

"We need to produce a lot more than we have been recently because Munster are a calibre above.

"And if we don't manage to up our game, we can hope for nothing over there."

But poor league form has left confidence at a premium for the record four-time European champions.

They run the risk of missing out on the French play-offs for the first time in 41 years.

"It's difficult, we're unable to impose our game. It's tough to see Toulouse 10th in the league and now, it would be a miracle to qualify for the play-offs," added Fritz.

Despite the general doom and gloom, France centre Gael Fickou believes an upset is possible, albeit unlikely.

"Honestly, if we looked at what we've done the last two months, we'd tell ourselves there's no point going there," said Fickou.

"But that's not rugby -- everything's possible and on our day we can do it.

"Maybe from the outside you don't believe but we know we're capable of doing it."

Fritz added: "If we manage to do something over there, that could put us in a great dynamic.

"Pulling off an exploit at Munster and playing a European semi-final could obviously save our season,"

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 3 3 0 0 15
Ulster 3 1 0 2 8
Wasps 3 1 0 2 6
Harlequins 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 3 3 0 0 14
Saracens 3 2 0 1 10
Ospreys 3 1 0 2 8
Northampton Saints 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 3 3 0 0 14
Exeter Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Montpellier 3 1 0 2 8
Glasgow Warriors 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 3 2 1 0 11
Castres 3 1 1 1 7
Leicester Tigers 3 1 0 2 6
Racing Metro 3 1 0 2 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 3 3 0 0 12
Bath 3 2 0 1 9
Scarlets 3 1 0 2 7
Treviso 3 0 0 3 3