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Sport Ahki's Toulouse to 'push on' with Champions Cup semi-final

05:45  25 september  2020
05:45  25 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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European Champions Cup semi - final . Venue: Aviva Stadium Date: Sunday, 21 April Kick-off: 15:15 BST Leinster and Toulouse have met twice previously in the semi - finals , with Toulouse winning the Toulouse : Ramos, Huget, Guitoune, Ahki , Kolbe; Dupont, Bezy; Castets, Mauvaka, Faumuina

European Rugby Champions Cup match Toulouse vs Ulster (20 Sep 2020). Cheslin Kolbe scored two superb tries, in addition to further scores from Antoine Dupont, Thomas Ramos and Pita Ahki , as Toulouse comfortably dispatched Ulster 36-8 to make the Champions Cup semi - finals .

Former New Zealand under-20s centre Pita Ahki said Toulouse have learnt from last season's European Champions Cup last four defeat to Leinster ahead of travelling to Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Last weekend Pita Ahki scored his first try for Toulouse since joining the French club in 2018 © Fred SCHEIBER Last weekend Pita Ahki scored his first try for Toulouse since joining the French club in 2018

The record four-time continental champions are 80 minutes away from a sixth final but Premiership leaders Chiefs stand in their way.

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South Africa Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe scored twice as Toulouse hammered Ulster 36-8 on Sunday to qualify for the semi - finals of the European Champions Kolbe, however, touched down for a second try just before the break and second half tries from scrum-half Dupont, centre Ahki and

Leo Cullen speaks to the media ahead of Leinster Rugby' s Heineken Champions Cup semi - final against Toulouse at Aviva Stadium (Sunday, 21 April, KO 3.15pm).

"We've made another semi-final this year and we want to push on to the final. Exeter are a big team, probably the best English side at the moment with Saracens," Ahki told AFP.

"We know it's a big task. We've put everything into this week."

Ugo Mola's men only took part in their first training session of the week on Thursday to limit possible coronavirus contact ahead of crossing the Channel after the quarter-final win against Ulster.

Last weekend Castres were disqualified from the second-tier Challenge Cup after recording three cases of the virus among their players and coaches.

"That game on Sunday was pretty tough on our bodies so to have a few extra days off to recover might pay dividends for us in the long run," Ahki said.

"As rugby players you want to be able to train at least two or three days, especially before a semi-final, a big game. But with Covid we have to suck it up and work with what we've got," he added.

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Leinster claim Champions Cup final spot with clinical performance against Toulouse at Aviva Stadium - follow live text commentary. Leinster will face Saracens in Newcastle on 11 May. Lowe crosses for game' s first try in 14th minute. Pita Ahki is the man who eventually makes a break, dodging past

Toulouse ’ s Scottish international second-row is ready for the Champions Cup semi - final between the competition’ s only four-times winners. “We are level on four final victories with Leinster but it is about trying to go as far as we can this year rather than getting ahead of them in terms of titles,” Gray says.

Ahki features in an exciting back-line alongside France internationals such as Romain Ntamack, Thomas Ramos and Sofiane Guitoune as well as South Africa Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe.

"It's unreal. You just want to get the ball to him as early as you can and let him work his magic," Ahki said.

"I know he's the best player in the world at the moment as you saw on the weekend. He has the best feet, and I'm just lucky that he's on my side.

The Auckland-born midfielder wears the same head guard as Springboks' Kolbe and said it causes problems for his family watching on.

"My daughters get mixed up with us a lot, even my partner sometimes," Ahki said.

- 'Slick' Slade -

The ex-Connacht centre is set to face the Chiefs' England midfielder Hendry Slade at Sandy Park.

"Watching him in the last few games they've played he's class. He picks his moments, he's slick," Ahki said.

"They got real good set-plays off their set-piece and he and Jack Nowell set the platform for them. It will be a good match up, I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to keep an eye on him," he added.

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Johnny Sexton speaks to the media following the Heineken Champions Cup semi - final win over Toulouse at Aviva Stadium. Leinster Rugby 2019/20 Season Tickets

Toulouse : Thomas Ramos 77, Romain Ntamack 28, Pita Ahki 15. Exeter have qualified for a Heineken Champions Cup semi - final for the first time, while Toulouse have reached this stage for the 12th time – only Munster (14) have reached the last four on more occasions.

Elsewhere this weekend, Top 14 leaders Racing 92 host Saracens in a re-run of the 2016 final but the Parisians will be without Wallabies full-back Kurtley Beale.

England captain Owen Farrell is missing for the visitors, who will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season for salary cap breaches.

Fixtures

Saturday (GMT)

Racing 92 (FRA) v Saracens (ENG) (1200)

Exeter Chiefs (ENG) v Toulouse (FRA) (1430)

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