Rugby-Toulouse beat La Rochelle again to win 21st French title

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(Reuters) -Toulouse claimed their 21st French title with a comprehensive 18-8 victory against La Rochelle in a disappointing Top 14 final on Friday.

One month after humbling La Rochelle in the Champions Cup final, Toulouse were on top of the contest from the start and were never threatened by the team who finished second behind them in the regular season.

"It was a big match. And in big matches like this we're clinical and that's what makes the difference," said Thomas Ramos, who kicked 15 of his team's points.

"We knew it would be a tough forwards battle and our forwards were up for it. They made things easy for us."

In a match that never spring into life, Toulouse won the forwards battle and, despite the absence of injured flyhalf Romain Ntamack, had more creativity.

Stand-in flyhalf Ramos opened the scoring with a penalty and added a drop goal after being set up by scrumhalf Antoine Dupont 25 metres from the posts.

He added another penalty with Cheslin Kolbe putting them 12-0 ahead with a stunning 50-metre drop goal.

La Rochelle reduced the arrears through Ihaia West early in the second half but they were sanctioned for their ill discipline repeatedly with Ramos slotting two more penalties.

Trailing by 15 points, La Rochelle played more freely and Dany Priso bundled over from a maul to make their defeat less humiliating.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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