But Toulouse showed the whole of Europe just how good they can be as they secured their place in the final eight in front of nearly 15,000 fans. Last season's Heineken Cup runners-up demolished a brave but out-classed Scarlets side as they continued their march towards a third final in a row. The Scarlets were a distant second but manged five tries on their way to racking up 36 points - the highest number of points Toulouse have ever conceded in a home Cup match. A try double from hard-working lock Chris Wyatt - who must be giving Wales coach Mike Ruddock some food for thought - kept the visitors in the match at halftime, but there was no stopping the French heavyweights as they wrapped up the match in the second spell. The Scarlets went into the match knowing they were simply making up the numbers in the final round of the Cup. Their chances went out the window after a narrow first-round loss to Toulouse in the mud and the heart-breaker against Northampton last weekend. With their Celtic League crown out of reach, Wales' traditional flag-bearers at this level have to simply limp to the finish linein May and regather for season 2005-06. Toulouse ran the ball from the opening minute, giving Wales skipper Gareth Thomas an early chance to stretch his legs against his countrymen, but the home side were rocked by a Chris Wyatt try under the posts in the 10th minute. A ridiculous pass from fullback Clement Poitrenaud - who must still have nighmares after handing last season's Heineken Cup to Rob Howley on a plate - went over the head of centre Yannick Jauzion and into the arms of second-rower Wyatt, who galloped over the line untouched. But the try simply made Toulouse angry. Speedster Vincent Clerc went over in the corner after some skilful handling from scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde and poor defence from the Scarlets, and Jauzion crashed over near the posts after some good work from fly-half Frederic Michalak. Gareth Bowen narrowed the margin with a penalty goal, but "Alfie" Thomas increased the home side's lead as he crashed through the attempted tackles of Garan Evans, Dwayne Peel, Dafydd Jones and Tal Selley in a blatant message to British Lions coach Clive Woodward. In his current form, the Wales skipper will have to be in a wheelchair to miss out on the tour of New Zealand in June. Toulouse's dominance was illustrated with a penalty try that gave them a bonus point and a guaranteed home quarter-final, and flanker Jean Bouilhou made things even more embarrassing with a pushover try moments later. The Scarlets refused to drop their heads, though, and Wyatt reached over from a close-range scrum to narrow the score to 33-17 at halftime. Michalak opened the first half with a beautifully struck dropped goal, before a stunning break from hooker William Servat set up Poiternaud for his side's sixth try. Replacement backrower Andy Powell gave the Scarlets some much-needed go-forward, and some hard work up front paid off when prop John Davies forced his way over the try-line after a good buildup from skipper Simon Easterby. Powell scored a try to give his side a well-deserved bonus point, but it brought his side to within 12 points of the French club and gave the Stade Ernest Wallon crowd a few nervous moments. Poitrenaud and replacement scrum-half Jean-Frederic Dubois allowed the fans to settle back in their seats with late tries, and the Scarlets were left with a late try to Selley and the small consolation that they were out-played by a side who have a royal chance of going on and winning the whole thing.
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.