Toulon stutter past Blues
Toulon laboured past the Cardiff Blues in European Cup action on Sunday, as Munster ran out comfortable victors over pointless Edinburgh.
Star-studded Toulon laboured past the Cardiff Blues for their second win in two outings in European Cup action on Sunday, as former two-time champions Munster ran out comfortable victors over pointless Edinburgh.
Leicester also sent out a warning in their clash with Celtic champions Ospreys, running out 39-22 bonus-point winners in Pool Two that also includes unbeaten four-time champions Toulouse and Italians Treviso.
In Cardiff, Jonny Wilkinson kicked five penalties and a conversion for a personal haul of 17 points as Toulon ran out 22-14 winners in their Pool Six match.
The French club's sole try came from erstwhile England flank Steffon Armitage as a Blues side inspired by Wales trio Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert and Lou Reed battled to keep the home side in the game.
Halfpenny opened the scoring with a surprise try in just the second minute, making the most of a midfield defensive lapse by Australian Matt Giteau after a nice inside pass from wing Tom James.
Wilkinson made no mistake with a simple penalty after 10 minutes and hit a second soon after to move his side ahead, but the English star pushed a third effort wide, as did Halfpenny with his first effort on the half-hour.
With a stilted Toulon side shying away from much ambition, the home side deserved to re-take the lead with a Halfpenny penalty just before the break.
After a turnover, the Blues again put themselves on the front foot, Halfpenny tracking down an isolated Giteau but slipped as he attempted the resulting penalty.
Wilkinson made no such mistake when next up in front of Cardiff's posts, but Halfpenny dragged the hosts back into the game with a penalty with 20 minutes to play.
The French side immediately fired back, however, France scrumhalf Frederic Michalak overseeing a series of midfield attacks, with Steffon Armitage eventually crashing over after a break by Giteau, Wilkinson converting.
Going into the final minutes, Halfpenny kicked his third penalty to ensure a nerve-racking finale.
But a basic ruck infringement handed Toulon the advantage from the re-start, and Wilkinson booted a simple penalty to wrap up an afternoon the French side made much more difficult for themselves than had seemed warranted.
Leicester left it late against the Ospreys in a belter of a tussle at Welford Road.
England halfback pairing Ben Youngs and Toby Flood each scored a try, along with Manu Tuilagi with his second, in the final nine minutes to give the scoreline an unlikely tilt after a contest that had been close throughout.
A first-minute try from Ryan Jones allied with 17 points from Dan Biggar were simply not enough to undo a Leicester inspired in particular by Flood, who also hit 19 points with the boot including a couple of monster penalties.
In Munster's Thomond Park fortress, Edinburgh were put to the sword for the second week running in Pool One.
After going down 45-0 to Saracens last week, the Scottish team - last year's semi-finalist - suffered a humiliating 33-0 drubbing to a Munster side that refocused themselves on their traditional strengths up front and around the fringes.
Ian Keatley, deputising for the injured Ronan O'Gara at flyhalf, kicked 13 points, with scrumhalf Conor Murray, impressive No.8 Peter O'Mahoney, flank Sean Dougall and replacement hooker Damien Varley all crossing for tries to ensure the extra point and deepen the concerns of Michael Bradley, coach of the Scottish region.
All Sunday's results and scorers!
Munster 33-0 Edinburgh
Tries: Murray, O'Mahony, Dougall, Varley
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3
Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mick Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Felix Jones.
Edinburgh:15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Gregor Hunter, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Stuart McInally, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Rob McAlpine, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Matt Scott, 23 Dougie Fife.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)
Cardiff Blues 14-22 Toulon
For Cardiff Blues:
Pens: Halfpenny 3
Try: S. Armitage
Pens: Wilkinson 5
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Tafa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Pierrick Gunther, 20 Maxime Mermoz, 21 Benjamin Lapeyre, 22 Nicolas Durand, 23 Simon Shaw.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Michael Black (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)
Montpellier 33-18 Sale Sharks
Tries: Trinh-Duc, Nagusa, Tomas
Cons: Bustos Moyano 3
Pens: Bustos Moyano 4
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Cueto, Vernon
Pens: Miller 2
Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Pierre Bérard, 13 Timoci Nagusa, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Martin Bustos Moyano, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Aliki Fakate, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Juan Figallo.
Replacements: 16 Rassie van Vuuren, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Vincent Pelo, 19 Mickael Demarco, 20 Alexandre Bias, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Thomas Combezou.
Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Johnny Leota.
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Adrian Graves (Scotland)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)
Leicester Tigers 39-22 Ospreys
Tries: Tuilagi 2, Flood, Youngs
Cons: Flood 2
Pens: Flood 5
Try: R. Jones
Pens: Biggar 5
Leicester Tigers: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Thomas Waldrom, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 George Stowers, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cédric Marchat (France), Eric Soulan (France)
TMO: Bernard Dal Maso (France)