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Toulouse out as Castres advance to Top 14 semi-finals

19 May 2018 19:32

An impressive Castres overcame Jody Jenneker's sending off to win 23-11 at Toulouse and secure a place in the Top 14 semi-finals on Saturday.

South African hooker Jenneker saw red in the 60th minute for his aggressive response to Maxime Medard's swinging arm, but the visitors held on to book a date with Racing 92.

The victory goes some way to avenging the defeats they have suffered at this stage the past two seasons and marks their return to the semi-finals for the first time since the 2014 final loss to Toulon.

Armand Batlle was the key man, crossing either side of half-time to power his side to a second win at Stade Ernest-Wallon this season.

The winger grabbed the first of his double in the 12th minute, although Thomas Ramos quickly responded with a pair of penalties to cut the margin back to a point.

Castres steadied through three-pointers from Rory Kockott and Benjamin Urdapilleta before half-time and they were in complete command when Batlle's second converted try in the 44th minute was followed by another Kockott penalty.

Toulouse did gain fresh hope as Leonardo Ghiraldini barrelled over with 20 minutes remaining, with a lengthy video review leading to Jenneker's sending off at the same time. 

But a well-organised Castres held firm to complete the upset and keep alive hope of a first title win since 2013.

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