Amlin Challenge Cup: James Hook helps Perpignan beat Toulouse
Last Updated: 05/04/13 10:32pm
Perpignan survived the second-half dismissal of Daniel Leo to beat French rivals Toulouse 30-19 in the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Tries from Sebastien Taofifenua, Farid Sid and Sebastien Vahaamahina, as well as 15 points from the boot of James Hook, meant the Top 14 derby went the way of the hosts at Stade Aime Giral.
Toulouse, who had at one stage led 12-10 thanks to the boot of Lionel Beauxis, were unable to make the most of a man advantage for the last 15 minutes after Leo was ordered off for foul play at a ruck.
Perpignan started and finished the first half impressively with Hook kicking them in front inside two minutes with a penalty and then converting Taofifenua's try, making it 10-0.
But from then on poor discipline allowed Beauxis to boot the visitors into the game, four penalties - including a pair of long-range efforts - edging them ahead, while a fifth attempt was hooked wide of the uprights.
It seemed they would go into the interval ahead, only for Lifeimi Mafi's offload out the back of the hand leading to winger Sid going over from close range.
They touched down again soon after the re-start, Hook sending out a long, floating pass to Vahaamahina that allowed the lock to score, despite the best efforts of Toulouse full-back Maxime Medard.
The response from Toulouse was to send on Yannick Jauzion from the bench, and the France international quickly made an impression with an exquisite flicked pass, albeit going slightly forward, that set up a try for lock Edwin Maka.
Beauxis added the extras and when Leo was shown a red card by referee Alain Rolland for a swinging arm, it seemed Guy Noves' side would go on and complete the comeback.
Perpignan, though, refused to be beaten. Hook successfully knocked over two further penalties to round out a perfect kicking night and clinch a home semi-final against the winners of the tie between Bath and Stade Francais.