Cheslin Kolbe returns to help Toulouse hammer lowly Agen

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Toulouse defence coach Laurent Thuery praised Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe’s attitude as he played his first game since mid-December to help Toulouse return to the Top 14 summit on Saturday with a 59-0 rout of bottom side Agen.

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Cheslin Kolbe, who missed four games with a finger injury, set up the league’s top try scorer Matthis Lebel for one of his three efforts.

“Cheslin Kolbe played a serious game on the wing and a little bit at fullback in the second half,” Thuery told the post-match press conference.

“He applied himself throughout the match. It’s good for next week and the match against La Rochelle. We’re going to need everyone one,” he added.

The record 20-time champions move back to the top of the table after La Rochelle, where they head next Sunday, had taken the lead with Friday’s 40-3 hammering of Bayonne.

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The weekend’s fixtures were brought forward by the National Rugby League (LNR) to fill the gap left by the cancellation of European games due to fears of the new coronavirus variant in Britain and Ireland.

In addition to Lebel’s hat-trick, which took the 21-year-old’s season tally up to 11 in 12 league matches, hooker Julien Marchand, lock Emmanuel Meafou, scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, flanker Alban Placines and substitute Peato Mauvaka were also on the scoresheet to inflict a record equalling 15th straight loss on the home side.

Former New Zealand loose forward Jerome Kaino, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup twice, came off the bench with half an hour to play for his first appearance in 10 weeks after recovering from an ankle issue.

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